by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The United States and United Kingdom are struggling to counter China’s increasingly hostile political warfare operations, according to sources briefed on recent high-level meetings between officials from both countries.
During this month’s summit between British leaders and members of the House Select Committee on China, officials acknowledged that while both countries have strategies in place to handle a military confrontation with China, “we have no plan” to combat Chinese aggression off the battlefield, according to a source briefed on the contents of the private discussions.
The CCP’s political warfare operations were raised as a concern in several meetings during the transatlantic summit, a sign that both countries are struggling to beat back China’s growing global footprint. Officials from both countries expressed concerns about a burgeoning “international order with Chinese characteristics,” according to the source briefed on the meetings.
China has expanded its global influence operation in recent years in a bid to exert dominance over the international community. Beijing has poured resources into a global campaign of economic coercion and worked to shape narratives and peddle propaganda through international institutions like the United Nations. These efforts were on full display during the coronavirus pandemic, when China successfully prevented the World Health Organization from disclosing that the virus likely emerged from a Wuhan lab, as several U.S. intelligence reports have determined in recent months.
Rep. Mike Gallagher (R., Wis.), the China committee’s chairman who led the delegation to Britain, said he came away from the meetings concerned the British and American governments are not doing enough to detach their economies from China and fend off the CCP’s global spy operations. Both countries continue to rely heavily on Chinese supply chains, particularly in the technology sector, that are vulnerable to Communist Party coercion and spying.