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US Security Experts Warn Of Long-Term Threat Posed By Chinese Influence Operations

October 29th, 2020 12:47

US media is report­ing that var­i­ous experts have con­clud­ed that Chi­nese influ­ence oper­a­tions pose a greater long term threat to the US than do Russ­ian efforts. Accord­ing to an NBC News report:

While U.S. intel­li­gence experts gen­er­al­ly agree that Rus­sia is bet­ter than any oth­er coun­try at spread­ing dis­in­for­ma­tion to under­mine vot­er con­fi­dence lead­ing up to the elec­tion, secu­ri­ty experts have been pre­oc­cu­pied with a longer-term threat. They fear that the Chi­nese gov­ern­men­t’s dis­in­for­ma­tion oper­a­tions pose a far more insid­i­ous men­ace to democ­ra­cy that will con­tin­ue well past Elec­tion Day. Schol­ars study­ing the efforts say the Chi­nese are grow­ing bold­er and more brazen, often tak­ing pages from what used to be seen as Rus­si­a’s play­book in dis­cred­it­ing the Unit­ed States. It’s a pat­tern so trou­bling to glob­al intel­li­gence offi­cials that last week, Ken McCal­lum, the incom­ing intel­li­gence chief of the British domes­tic secu­ri­ty ser­vice, MI5, said that if Rus­si­a’s influ­ence oper­a­tions are like bad weath­er, Chi­na’s grow­ing oper­a­tions are like cli­mate change — far more destruc­tive. “We are in a com­pe­ti­tion between demo­c­ra­t­ic sys­tems and auto­crat­ic sys­tems of gov­ern­ment,” said Lau­ra Rosen­berg­er, direc­tor of the Alliance for Secur­ing Democ­ra­cy, part of the non­prof­it Ger­man Mar­shall Fund of the Unit­ed States, who fol­lows the chang­ing dynam­ics. “Chi­na has grown in its geopo­lit­i­cal and eco­nom­ic clout and is try­ing to por­tray itself as a sys­tem that is equal­ly legit­i­mate to demo­c­ra­t­ic gov­er­nance. That is fun­da­men­tal­ly in oppo­si­tion to U.S. interests.”

Read the rest here.

Although the Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report (GIOR) has report­ed that the US Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Advi­sor claimed last month, with­out evi­dence, that Chi­na was the most active of the coun­tries try­ing to inter­fere in the upcom­ing US elec­tions, we also report­ed that the recent­ly released US Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­ri­ty “Home­land Threat Assess­ment” failed to even men­tion  Chi­nese efforts regard­ing the upcom­ing US elec­tions. Instead, it focused on  Chi­nese oper­a­tions cen­tered on the COVID-19 pan­dem­ic. Accord­ing to a Wash­ing­ton Post report recent­ly dis­cussed by the Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report (GIOR), Chi­na has been active­ly try­ing to inter­fere in the elec­tions, notably “bash­ing” US Pres­i­dent Trump:

This month, new research from Graphi­ka, a social media analy­sis com­pa­ny, showed that a net­work of fake Chi­nese accounts has been post­ing videos bash­ing Trump, crit­i­ciz­ing his recent clo­sure of China’s con­sulate in Hous­ton, his han­dling of the coro­n­avirus pan­dem­ic and his threats to ban the pop­u­lar social media app Tik­Tok. The researchers also found the first direct ref­er­ence to Biden — a bunch of flat­ter­ing pic­tures — from the Chi­nese net­work, which has a his­to­ry of rapid­ly churn­ing out videos with awk­ward­ly word­ed Eng­lish sub­ti­tles and nar­ra­tion. The group hasn’t been direct­ly linked to the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment and it isn’t clear whether the intend­ed audi­ence for the videos was Chi­nese, Amer­i­can or a com­bi­na­tion. But its over­ar­ch­ing goal seems to be defend­ing Chi­nese inter­ests, which is in line with the U.S. intel­li­gence assessment.