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Home / India News / China’s Xi Jinping is a successor to dictator Joseph Stalin: US NSA O’Brien

China’s Xi Jinping is a successor to dictator Joseph Stalin: US NSA O’Brien

In a stinging attack, US NSA Robert O’Brien calls American China policy a blunder. Says this is the first of many speeches on China, right from Secretary of State Pompeo and Attorney General Barr, to FBI Director Chris Wray

india Updated: Jun 27, 2020 22:57 IST
Shishir Gupta
Shishir Gupta
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Chinese President Xi Jinping and his policies came in biting criticism from US NSA O’Brien who listed how China’s communist party posed a risk to US interests
Chinese President Xi Jinping and his policies came in biting criticism from US NSA O’Brien who listed how China’s communist party posed a risk to US interests(Agencies)

US National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien on Friday launched the Trump administration’s sharpest attack on Chinese government, comparing President Xi Jinping to Russia’s brutal dictator Joseph Stalin whose policies killed millions, and warning that the Chinese Communist Party was seeking leverage over individual Americans through propaganda and collection of their “most intimate data” via big Chinese companies that made huge investments and had even pressured Hollywood into self-censorship.

Robert O’Brien, who described the foreign policy calculations of consecutive US governments towards Beijing as the US’ ”biggest miscalculation” since the 1930s, said China’s efforts to control the mind of people residing beyond its borders was underway. The communist party, he said, was using trade to coerce compliance with its diktats.

While NSA Robert C. O’Brien has come out openly detailing the penetration of the Chinese Communist Party in the US, his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval - as president of the Delhi-based think tank Vivekananda International Foundation - had written a paper on the penetration of PLA intelligence in “enemy countries”. The NSA, in his paper accessed by Hindustan Times, had explained the structure of people’s Liberation Army intelligence and use of propaganda as a tool in democratic nations, an evidence of which the world is now recognising in the US, Australia, Canada, and Brazil.

O’Brien said the Trump administration had started taking corrective steps and outlined six steps taken by the administration to curb the Chinese influence in the US. But he underlined that this was just the beginning.

In his address to a group of people at Phoenix in Arizona, O’Brien underscored that there really was no difference between mega Chinese firms and the communist party in power in Beijing.

“The Chinese Communist Party seeks total control over the people’s lives. This means economic control, it means political control, it means physical control, and, perhaps most importantly, it means thought control,” he said, according to the transcript released by the White House.

O’Brien referred to the analysis by an Australian official that in Classical Chinese statecraft, there were two tools for gaining and maintaining control: the first is ‘wu’, weapons and violence, and the second is ‘wen’, language and culture. Chinese leaders have always believed that power derives from controlling both the physical battlefield and the cultural domain.

The NSA cited several instances when China, in addition to propaganda, used trade to coerce compliance with its dictates. Like when Australia called for an independent investigation of the coronavirus disease, the Chinese Communist Party threatened to stop buying Australian agricultural products.

O’Brien added that the Chinese reach extends to heads of international organisations who are not themselves Chinese officials.

China, he said, heads 4 out of 15 UN specialised agencies, more than the US, the UK, France and Russia, the other members of the permanent members of the UN Security Council, combined. He alleged that China uses these leaders to force the international bodies to parrot Beijing’s talking points and to install Chinese telecommunications equipment in their facilities.

For example, since Zhao Houlin of the International Telecommunications Union took his post, he began to aggressively promote Huawei sales. Secretary-General Fang Liu of the International Civil Aviation Organisation has blocked Taiwan’s participation in General Assembly meetings and covered up a Chinese hack of the organisation. The CPC has used China’s membership on the UN Human Rights Council to prevent criticism of its abuses in Xinjiang and Hong Kong, he said.

Outlining how the CCP’s strategy could touch American lives, he said the CCP was collecting “the most intimate data — your words, your actions, your purchases, your whereabouts, your health records, your social media posts, your texts, and mapping your network of friends, family, and acquaintances”.

“The CCP accomplishes this goal, in part, by subsidizing hardware, software, telecommunications, and even genetics companies. As a result, corporations such as Huawei and ZTE undercut competitors on price and install their equipment around the globe at a loss. This has the side effect of putting out of business American manufacturers of telecom hardware and has made it very difficult for Nokia and Ericsson. Why do they do it? Because it is not telecom hardware or software profits the CCP are after, it is your data. They use “backdoors” built into the products to obtain that data,” he said.

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