In the 1990s and early 2000s, there was great hope that American investments in China would result in the communist nation shifting towards capitalism and democracy. That didn’t happen. Instead, author Isaac Stone Fish said that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) manipulates business people who access its massive market. As a result, political elites and business people in the United States talk about China the way the CCP wants them to.
After working for China from 2006 to 2011, Fish said he noticed that elitist business and government leaders with a vested interest in China repeated the CCP’s propagandist rhetoric and stymied any criticism about China. Long Term Strategy Group CEO Jacqueline Deal said that while China refers to US elites as friends, that’s not at all what they mean. To the CCP, a friend is a pawn, stooge, or useful idiot.
The CCP is highly engaged in the US through the United Front Work Department (UFWD). The CCP tasks the group to strengthen its “friends” and weaken its enemies. The Chinese use the front group to expand the number of people in the United States who would support the CCP and prevent negative discussions about it. The UFWD extends its reach through the military, government, and corporations with a goal of getting rid of those who express concerns about the Chinese Communist Party and replacing them with supporters.
So, is it any wonder that the US struggles to hold China accountable for much of anything?