China: Friend or Foe?
Barry Nussbaum: Welcome to ATP Report. I'm Barry Nussbaum. Our very special guest and friend of ATP Clare Lopez is back with us. You know that Clare is an international security expert with a very long and distinguished career with the United States government, including the CIA, and is now known as somebody you should listen to and follow her writings. Later in the show, we'll get how you can get in touch with Clare. Clare, welcome back.
Clare Lopez: Thank you, Barry. Always happy to be with you.
Barry Nussbaum: Let's talk about China. China, in the past, has been an enormous trading partner. For those of us that shop Amazon, probably three-quarters of the products come directly from China, maybe indirectly, but they're Chinese made goods. So, they're an enormous trading partner, and yet, recently, they sure don't look like a friend of the United States. Let's start with a 50,000-foot view, Clare. China: friend or foe?
Clare Lopez: Foe. You know the other thing that's available at Amazon.com, not that I'm plugging them exactly here, but in this period of staying at home over these last several months, I have bought and read a number of books about China.
I had not been a China expert before, but I'll mention one in particular that really got my attention because it gets to your question, Barry. The book is called The One Hundred Year Marathon. It's written by Michael Pillsbury. It's a few years old but absolutely invaluable for somebody just learning about these subjects.
Michael Pillsbury has a long and very distinguished career as a fluent Mandarin speaker and China expert in a number of U.S. Administrations and also now think tanks. He is at the Hudson Institute right now. He originally, going back all the way to President Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger and the opening up to China, was a staunch supporter as were so many of our senior national security leadership.
A staunch supporter of opening up to China in the hope and the belief, really the confidence, that by drawing China into the world system of trade and commerce and international diplomacy, that interaction, that opening, would moderate the communist regime in Beijing.
It was firmly believed that would happen, including by Michael, who discusses it in this book The One Hundred Year Marathon. How for such a long time, really decades, he continued to believe that and work towards achieving it. Including the bringing of China into the World Trade Organization, which was a huge commercial and financial benefit for that regime. But then Michael Pillsbury writes, he began to see things differently.
He realizes now and takes responsibility really for his earlier positions, but he has completely done a 180-degree pivot from those earlier positions and policies that he recommended. To understanding, as do a number of other Authors.
I've just recently read Gordon Chang, for example, Bill Gertz, retired General Robert Spaulding, just finished the book by Newt Gingrich, Trump versus China. The very excellent expert on China, Stephen Mosher. Read all of these books, but like them now, Michael Pillsbury writes that it was never going to happen. That this deeply Marxist, Leninist communist regime in Beijing that came to power, remember, in the 40s with Mao Zedong at the barrel of a gun was never going to change in a way that would make it more like a liberal Western-style democracy, it's just not going to happen.
Barry Nussbaum: Well, let's jump into the present time. You've got, as Trump always says, "This Chinese virus." It's not the first time. We've had a number of them. There's the Hong Kong flu, the bird flu, H1N1. Now you've got COVID-19, all of these have a connection to China in some fashion. Is there a connection here? Are they exporting disease?
Clare Lopez: Oh, absolutely. I don't mean to say that every one of those earlier viruses, and by the way, they have SARS, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, and MERS Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, and the common flu as well, all belong to a family of viruses called the Coronaviruses, plural. So, they have that in common. But I don't mean to say that every one of those was deliberately spread out from China.
But I will say this. We know China has an extensive offensive biological warfare program. We know about the one declared BSL-4, biosafety level four laboratory, the Wuhan Institute of Virology. But in addition to that, China has a sprawling network of dozens of other labs and facilities that are part of its biological warfare program. Most of them under PLA, Peoples Liberation Army, or Ministry of Defense Control.
Barry Nussbaum: So, is this part of what people are now saying, I'd say in the last year, year and a half, which has become a brand-new narrative. Which is China is attempting to export its perceived extensively superior form of government around the world. Do you think they're trying to export the Chinese version of government to the United States?
Clare Lopez: No, not exactly. I would put it this way instead. Again, I'm relying on these wonderful books I've read recently, and Michael Pillsbury comes back to mind. The One Hundred Year Marathon refers to the one-hundred-year period between Mao Zedong's victory in 1949 and 2049, in which period of time this Chinese Communist Party intends fully to become the Hegemon, orBa, as they would call it in Mandarin, of the entire world.
Now, that doesn't mean that they intend to export the Maoist communist Marxist form of government, but rather that, historically speaking, as I've come to learn and study, the Chinese think of themselves as the singular empire under heaven. They think that their position ought to be the Hegemon, the most powerful nation in the world. The model for that goes back many thousands of years. The model is that of an emperor vis-à-vis vessels, tribute payers.
So, we see China establishing its Belt and Road Initiative, what they call the string of pearls. These are the various port facilities it has building around the world in key places. These are ways of tying far-flung countries and peoples to Beijing in other ways.
Barry Nussbaum: Tell people how they can find you.
Clare Lopez: Well, I am at Clare M Lopez on social media, Facebook, Parley, and Twitter. You may find videos and pieces I write in various places. Certainly, videos here at American Truth Project. Also, at Sharia Crime Stoppers, the United West Citizen's Commission on Benghazi, and Brandon Howse Worldview Weekend.
Barry Nussbaum: All those people, I like them. They are good people. For those of you that haven't subscribed to our text message alert system, please take out your cell phone if you are in the United States and text the word TRUTH to 88202. For ATP Report, I'm Barry Nussbaum.