The Hudson Institute, a politically conservative non-profit American think tank founded in 1961, organized a very interesting June 20th event at their headquarters in Washington, DC. The panel included some of the latest insights from the conservative foreign policy experts on efforts by the Chinese President to spread its influence in the democratic world, much as the Soviet Union and modern Russia have been doing for generations. From the event description:
Under the leadership of Xi Jinping, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has invested an estimated $10 billion per year projecting its influence into the politics of overseas democracies. Key to this effort is the United Front, a “magic weapon” strategy that seeks to build mutually beneficial relationships with well-placed western businessmen, political officials and donors, and members of the Chinese diaspora community in order to make the “foreign serve” the CCP goals.
Two notable and well documented examples of the United Front strategy are Australia and New Zealand, whose politics, media, academia, and business life have been successfully targeted by Beijing-linked individuals and organizations, primarily through financial means. Weak campaign finance rules, a lack of alternative, independent funding for academic Chinese studies programs, and limited revenue options for cash-strapped media outlets have all contributed to Australia and New Zealand’s China problems. And the United States is a major target of CCP influence and interference operations, as well.
This important geopolitical challenge is examined in a comprehensive new report by Hudson Senior Fellow Jonas Parello-Plesner.
Jonas Parello-Plesner is a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute leading a “project on Middle East politics and the stabilization and reconstruction of Iraq and Syria financed by a grant by the Danish government (DANIDA)”. The other speaker in the video is Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian is a Security Reporter at the The Daily Beast. The video is about 1.5 hours. Take a look: