- A Chinese academic with links to the communist party recently detailed how Beijing used access to a “core circle” of power brokers in Washington and on Wall Street to influence U.S. policy towards China.
- The academic, Di Dongsheng, asserted that Beijing will re-establish its power through that group of “old friends” under the Biden administration.
- Di said that China had far less success influencing the Trump administration because Wall Street — which he identified as a key ally for Beijing — was unable to “control” Donald Trump.
- Di’s remarks have surfaced in the wake of a warning from the U.S.’s top counterintelligence official, who said last week that there has been an uptick in Beijing’s efforts to influence incoming Biden administration employees.
The Chinese government will rely on a “core circle” of “old friends” on Wall Street and in Washington to influence the Biden administration, according to a Chinese academic with ties to the communist regime.
Di Dongsheng, the associate dean of the School of International Relations at Renmin University, offered his predictions about China-U.S. relations in the upcoming administration during a speech in Shanghai on Nov. 28.
Di asserted that Beijing was unable to fully respond to a “trade war” that President Donald Trump waged because the Republican was invulnerable to influence by Wall Street.
“Wall Street had a very profound influence over America’s domestic and foreign affairs since the 1970s. We used to heavily rely on them,” Di said at the event, according to The Washington Times.
Di asserted that Wall Street was unable to “control” Trump, which had a negative impact on China during its trade standoff with the U.S.
“I’m going to drop a bomb,” Di continued, “we had people up there inside America’s core circle of power, we had our old friends.”
“During the last three to four decades, we used the core circle inside America’s real power,” Di said.
But Di asserted that U.S.-China relations would be on the mend under Biden because of his administration’s close ties to Wall Street.
“Now with Biden winning the election, the traditional elites, political elites, the establishment, they have a very close relationship with the Wall Street,” Di said.
Di gave a nod to his communist party pedigree during his Shanghai speech.
He told a story of an event he helped arrange for Gua Weimin, a deputy director of the Chinese government’s foreign propaganda office, in 2015 in Washington, D.C. to promote a book written by Xi Jinping.
Di and Weimin appeared at an event held at Politics & Prose, a popular independent bookstore in Washington. Weimin serves as deputy director of China’s State Council Information Office, which controls Beijing’s foreign propaganda efforts.
Chinese state-controlled media outlet China Daily wrote about the event, saying that the turnout showed that Xi’s book was “proving a popular read” in the U.S.
Di also suggested in his speech in Shanghai that the Chinese government supported Hunter Biden’s business deals in China.
“You all heard that Trump said Biden’s son has securities companies all over the world. But who helped Biden’s son build his global companies?” Di said.
“There are indeed buy-and-sell transactions involved in here. So I think at this particular time, it is of strategic and tactical value for us to show goodwill.”
Hunter Biden had several business deals in China, including one with CEFC China Energy, a major energy conglomerate whose owner has links to the communist party. CEFC wired Biden millions of dollars in 2017, according to a Senate report released in September. (RELATED: Feds Obtained FISA Warrant Against Hunter Biden’s Chinese Business Partner)
Di’s remarks have surfaced as top U.S. counterintelligence officials have heightened warnings about Beijing’s covert efforts to influence U.S. policy, both in Congress and the Biden administration.
William Evanina, the top counterintelligence official at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, warned last week that U.S. officials have seen a spike in Chinese operatives trying to cozy up to Biden associates.
“We’ve also seen an uptick, which was planned and we predicted, that China would now re-vector their influence campaigns to the new administration,” Evanina said at a cybersecurity forum.
“And when I say that, that malign foreign influence, that diplomatic influence plus, or on steroids, we’re starting to see that now play across the country to not only the folks starting in the new administration, but those who are around those folks in the new administration.”
Several of Biden’s incoming advisers have long called for stronger diplomatic ties to Beijing, and for viewing China as an ally instead of a competitor. One of Biden’s key advisers, Steve Ricchetti, played an integral role in helping the Clinton administration pass a bill in 2000 that established Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) with China.
Clinton tasked Ricchetti, his deputy chief of staff, with wrangling votes in Congress to support PNTR.
Jake Sullivan, who Biden has tapped as his national security adviser, has criticized President Trump’s China policies and called for working more closely with Beijing. He appeared on Beijing-controlled news outlet CGTN in December 2017 to criticize Trump over his policy in Israel.
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