Make no mistake about it. China is at war with the United States. But, it’s not yet a military war. Far more insidious, it is a war waged through espionage, infiltration, stealth and deception.
In the 1999 book, ‘Unrestricted Warfare,’ two Chinese colonels explicitly outlined China’s strategy for supplanting the United States as the world’s dominant superpower — without firing a shot. Relying instead on the theft of intellectual property, advanced technology and military advantage, all the while posing as our friendly partners.
So, beware the Chinese Trojan Horse. It comes to us in many forms.
First, Huawei and the proposed 5G, meant to make our digital infrastructure totally dependent on the Chinese Communist Party and our sensitive information unprotected. Now, there is TikTok — a supposedly fun, short-form video app that is currently installed on more than 100 million user cell phones in the United States, capable of vacuuming data from these phones for decades — including emails, texts, photos, social media, keystrokes, web searches and more.
Imagine the treasure trove of sensitive personal data made available to the Chinese Communists via TikTok. Data that can be used to our detriment in the disclosure of military secrets, blackmail attempts and more.
No wonder the U.S. military banned all personnel from using TikTok last year, even from their personal devices. And, thank you, President Trump, for taking action to ban TikTok entirely from the United States, if the company remains under Chinese ownership and accessible to the Chinese Communist Party.
There is at least one other Chinese technology/info threat that is at least as dangerous as TikTok. However, it receives much less attention.
It is WeChat, the true backbone for digital information in China. A mobile phone app used for messaging, email, social media and even mobile payments. And, of course, 100 percent monitored, and all information tracked and accessible to the Communist Party.
In fact, it is a crucial component in compiling the infamous Social Credit scores for Chinese citizens, whereby the government can reward and punish behaviors and thoughts in a truly totalitarian way.
Beyond its domestic abuse in China, WeChat poses a clear and present danger within the borders of the United States. It is the communication system whereby Chinese nationals, positioned and populated throughout our great country, communicate sensitive and often stolen information back to the Chinese Communist Party.
Think about it: As of last year, there were approximately 370,000 Chinese students in the United States. To give a sense for the magnitude of this number, if evenly proportioned, this would amount to nearly 1600 Chinese students residing in the small State of New Hampshire.
And each one of them on a mission. Each of them pledging to make information available to the Chinese government, prior to their departure to the U.S. and with specific instructions.
Then, having access to WeChat to communicate sensitive information back to their case officers in the Chinese Communist Party. Obviously, blocking access to WeChat from the United States is critical to our national security. So, it is with great gratitude that we say ‘thank you’ to President Trump for announcing our intent to ban the WeChat app from the U.S. and cutting off this internet ‘highway’ of sensitive information flowing back to our adversaries.
Beyond these Trojan Horses, all disguised as benign technologies, there are the myriad of acts of outright intellectual theft and deception committed by and on behalf of Chinese nationals within our borders.
As we have seen, at Harvard, the Cleveland Clinic and elsewhere, the threat is pervasive, and it is real. We as a nation must do all we can to protect ourselves. Let’s awaken to the fact that our adversary is truly at war with us and be alert to the mechanisms that can be used to our detriment.
No matter what the form in which it may appear — Huawei 5G, TikTok, WeChat or other… Beware the Chinese Trojan Horse!