A World Stood up to Beijing, A Conversation with Miles Yu | Zooming in with Simone Gao

Simone Gao: The war in Ukraine has brought changes to the world.

Do you think it has changed the balance of power and strategic Alliance of the major powers in the world so far?

Miles Yu: NATO is no longer considering itself, a purely regional and European defense path. It actually considers peace and stability in the Indo Pacific part of its new mission as well.

Simone Gao: But, has Xi Jinping heeded the warning?

Miles Yu: I don’t think Xi Jinping is even teachable of any lessons.

Simone Gao: Dr. Miles Yu, former Secretary of State Mike Pomeo’s top China advisor, nevertheless, suggests that Xi learns two things.

Miles Yu: Bullying a small country will never work, the United States and its allies are determined to defend Taiwan.

Simone Gao: And his words to Taiwan is:

Miles Yu: Never give in to threat and bullying.

Simone Gao: Dr. Yu, thank you so much for joining Zooming In today.

Miles Yu: Thank you for inviting me. I’m glad to be here with you again.

Simone Gao: Okay. So I know a new China Center was just formed at the Hudson Institute last month, and you are the director of it. Can you tell us a bit more about this center? Why was it formed? What is it going to do and how is it going to be different from other China-related think-tanks in DC?

Miles Yu: Let me answer your last question. First, the China Center at the Hudson Institute is unlike other think-tank centers in Washington. Uh, in that it is a product of a unique moment in US history when America’s attitude, understanding and resolve to face a formidable challenge that is the Chinese party has reached an unprecedented national consensus. Political forces from all sides, left, center and right, have all agreed on this historical shift, which is almost 180 degrees of our national policy toward communist China.

The cross of this unprecedented national consensus on China is the end of a misguided area of engagement and appeasement to the CCP and the beginning of a national awakening to the intention, capabilities and opportunities of the Chinese communist party. Uh, the party has used different ways to upend the free and democratic global system and to replace it with the autocratic model of governance led by the Marxist-Leninist Chinese Communist party, a party that has been to be frank, enabled and empowered by our decades of naive engagement and unprincipled appeasement.

So, the central mission of the China Center at Hudson is therefore to promote and preserve this historic national consensus on China to prevent it from becoming another victim of partisanship. Uh, so another unique feature of Hudson’s China Center is that many of my colleagues associated with the center are the veterans of the revolutionary change of our China policy during the Trump administration, secretary of state Mike Pompeo, for example, works with us in the capacity of the China central chairman of the advisory board.

I myself was deeply involved in that China policy revolution during the Trump administration. We will do our best to ensure a policy continuity, help the current and future American administrations, no matter which party it may be, with our expertise, experiences, and recommendations, so that American democracy will withstand the CCPs challenge. And we will win the strategic competition for freedom, human rights and world law.

Simone Gao: (03:06)
Right, right. Uh, talking about this historic moment in the US-China relations, one of the geopolitical events that has a major impact on China is the Russo-Ukrainian war. So what is your overall assessment of the war? Was it avoidable in your opinion? And, uh, do you think it has changed the balance of power and strategic alliance of the major powers in the world so far?

Miles Yu: I think all wars are weighed with certain kind of ideas behind it. I think that Russia has long held a dangerous idea. And so that idea has not really been refuted sufficiently. Therefore I see the war coming, uh, sort of in a expected. Now what is the idea? Well, Russia war against Ukraine is completely unjustified. It reflects an antiquated imperialistic Russian mentality that all peoples of other sovereign nations who may have shared historical ethnic, or even linguistic ties with Russian culture should be ruled by the Moscow civilization state called Russia.

So this justification for agression in Ukraine is very dangerous and it is exactly what the Chinese Communist Party is advocating for in the context of Taiwan. Russia and the CCP share exactly the same absurd warmongering logic, uh, both Moscow and Beijing are saying that history, ethnicity and a language should determine political sovereignty and territorial belonging, but not political independence, popular elections and international law.

So this Chinese and Russian thinking must be stopped for the sake of world peace and international stability. Now, you asked me another aspect of the war that is, uh, what does it mean? Well, the war in Ukraine itself has rendered profound lessons to all, both aggressors and aggressed. To the aggressors. It has really become a perfect case of global rallying, uh, of tremendous moral and material support for Ukraine and Taiwan against the naked threats of invasion and subjugation. Uh, just as a very familiar Chinese saying goes, “a just cause attracts great support and unjust one finds little”.

Because of this Russian-Chinese joint venture of aggression, these two countries are extremely isolated, morally, internationally, and China is a warrant that if it does the copycat act by invading Taiwan, China will be sanctioned, boycotted, and resisted severely and debilitatingly. So I would say, you know, uh, another important consequence of the war in Ukraine is that it has really taught the victimized and threatened small countries like Taiwan, that they must have their own indigenously, strong national defense forces, but most importantly, never give in to threat and bullying.

Only when a nation shows its resolve and tenacity for self defense can great international military support, make any difference. With strong self defense and great military assistance from allies, Taiwan will prevail.

So I think, you know, in the end freedom and democracy will win. But you asked me, excuse me, you asked me also about whether the war in Ukraine has changed global balance of power. My answer is not really, despite the Russia’s broad war in Ukraine. I think the international consensus that the CCP is a world’s number one threat still remains. Not only that, I think that because of the war in Ukraine, global major power players have even deepened, their existing strategic perspective by viewing the CCP as even more dangerous because of its closer and closer relationship with Russia, not just in Europe, but more importantly in the Indo-Pacific as well.

Uh, well I think this is happening because the world knows that Russia is kind of less advanced economically and technologically than the CCP. Let me just make this right clear. China’s economy is a more than 10 times bigger than Russia’s.

It has much more advanced asymmetrical weapon platforms in emerging new frontier of modern warfare. So that’s why we have seen that for the first time a global multilateral collective defense ground Alliance is slowly but steadily taking shape, with China and Russia at the center of its preoccupation. For example, NATO is no longer considering itself, a purely regional and European defense pact.

It actually considers peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific part of its new mission as well. And this is pretty amazing. You can see that in a recently concluded NATO summit in Madrid, Spain, for example, for the first time ever leaders of key Indo-Pacific democracies, South Korea, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand are invited to take part in, and the NATOs 2022 strategic council specifically mentioned this PRC as one of its strategic security priorities. And that is pretty amazing. So that’s why I say the war in Ukraine has not really changed global power balance and China, not Russia, continues to be world’s biggest security threat.

Simone Gao: Hmm. In your early part of the answer, you talked about whether the Taiwanese people are ready for a possible CCP aggression. I wanna talk about that a little bit more later, but for now I have another question, you know, regarding the war, some analysts say from now to winter is a critical time for how the world would turn out. America and Europe should provide enough heavy weapons to Ukraine for them to launch an offensive, to turn the dynamics of the battlefield around.

Otherwise when winter kicks in, the ban on Russian energy will put Europe in a very difficult situation, which might undermine our result to keep supporting Ukraine and keep the sanctions in place. However, America and Europe are not determined. I mean, those two, those analysts, uh, America and Europe are not determined to let Ukraine win before winter. They’re not providing enough heavy weapons. What is your opinion on this?

Miles Yu: Well, I think, you know, I might challenge the sort of the premises of some of your questions a little bit, but, uh, let me just try to answer this way. Uh, I think European countries are realizing the importance of energy independence more and more. They’re trying not to be blackmailed by Russia for energy supply. However, I do not believe Russia is a number one factor in Europe’s energy crisis. It is a crisis.

It is a problem, but it’s not the biggest one. I think the real problem with Europe’s energy crisis is extreme left-wing woke politics. Germany, for example, is most vulnerable to Russia’s energy blackmail. That’s because German leaders for many years have purposefully neglected its energy independence, gone woke with over-reliance, unlimited renewable energy sources, basically solar and wind, you know, solar and wind can never supply enough to meet Germany’s national energy demand.

So Germany has to rely on Russia. However, you know, you don’t hear much about the French worrying about their winter’s energy shortage. That’s because about 85% of France energy comes out of its own nuclear power plants. In other words, France has energy independence, therefore making France far less susceptible to Russia’s energy blackmail, but nuclear power plant is considered not politically correct in Germany and the Germans are now in trouble, but I think they should really blame themselves more, not just the Russians.

About energy shortage and the war in Ukraine, I think the winter harshness is a double-edged sword for both sides of the war. It might be tough for the Ukrainians and its allies in Europe, but it may even be a bigger problem for the Russians. Uh, let me, let’s just say this way. If the Russians in good weather couldn’t win the war, how could we expect them to do better in harsh winter conditions, with the Europe’s legendary winter muddiness and the snowy mess, Russian tanks, armored vehicles and soldiers may well be further and further stopped, becoming Ukrainian’s sitting ducks for target practice.

Simone Gao: That’s interesting. You know, I wanna ask you a couple more question on that, but let’s just go to the biggest question. I mean, this has a lot to do with Xi Jinping what do you think Xi Jinping has learned from this war so far?

Miles Yu: Well, personally, I don’t think Xi Jinping is even teachable of any lessons, but if I were Xi Jinping, I would be aware of the following: Number one, bullying a small country will never work, as the small will gain more inner strength and external support becoming much stronger and more lethal in the end. Number two, the United States and its allies are determined to defend Taiwan, especially after Puutin’s aggression in Ukraine, because the world has realized once an act of aggression started, a chain of aggression may follow, and Taiwan should not be allowed to be the first link of world of aggression in the Indo-Pacific.

Number three, there are great limits in modern warfare because there are many variables. China may look strong, but it has great weaknesses and vulnerabilities too. So a war of aggression against Taiwan may not really be that easy to win. So you ask how the war impacts Taiwan’s strategies. I think the biggest impact is that the previously rampant defeatism and capitulationism has been further discredited in Taiwan, the free and sovereign people of Taiwan are now more united. And the freedom’s cause has indeed formed a united front in Taiwan’s defense.

Simone Gao: You answered this question. Uh, so I was gonna ask you, but I’m glad you already answered. So you think this war has strengthened Taiwan’s defense strategies?

Miles Yu: Yes.

Simone Gao: Okay. So do you think the Taiwanese people are mentally and physically prepared for a potential military aggression by the CCP now?

Miles Yu: More so than ever.

Simone Gao: Okay. Than ever, but are they prepared enough if the CCP is going to launch an aggression right now, are they ready?

Miles Yu: Well, it’s very hard to put simplistic yes or no answer, because the wars are basically kind of unpredictable, but I see Taiwanese people are more and more together. They have gained a much broader consensus on the survival of the nation, what’s really at stake. And most importantly, I think Taiwanese people are realizing more and more that they will get much, much more support from the international community.

That’s because, as I said earlier, many people, particularly countries around China, you can see Japan, Australia, you know, even Vietnam, many people view the China threat against Taiwan is just the beginning of the China aggression. If China takes Taiwan, who knows might be next, the South China Sea, China might fight a war with Vietnam, with India. So this is the reason why Taiwan’s cause has gained so much more support. Most of them sort of passively, but some of the leaders in the China’s periphery actually have said openly, they will come to Taiwan’s defense in the case of the war.

Simone Gao: Yeah. Okay. Next question. I wanna talk about the CCPs 20th National Congress. You know, the party’s conclave is going to happen in October this year, and there’s a lot of a speculations on whether Xi Jinping will get a third term and whether China’s reform-oriented forces represented by premier Li Keqiang would chip away some of Xi Jinping’s power. So what do you make of the top power struggle politics in China right now?

Miles Yu: Well, you use a very good word, conclave, which implies secrecy and furtiveness. I mean, that’s exactly what the Chinese Communist Party politics is all about. It’s very, very undemocratic, it’s very non-transparent. You asked me the question the result, Li Keqiang up or down, Xi Jinping in or out. You know what, I don’t know and I don’t care. What’s going on inside the Byzantine labyrinth of CCP power struggle, inside the ruling elite should never be the Chinese people’s top preoccupation. I know the CCP has exerted an iron group over the Chinese people, but if the Chinese people do not play into the CCPs game and consider the CCP intellectually irrelevant, then we will see real progress in China.

To me personally, whether Xi Jinping stays or gets out, whether Li Keqiang gets in or out, it doesn’t really matter. They are all communist, dedicated to one and only objective, that is to preserve the longevity of the CCP dictatorship. We should also keep in mind, even the most reform minded, Chinese communist leaders, such as Deng Xiaoping would never hesitate for a split second in ordering the massacre of the Chinese people, just as what happened in 1989 Tiananmen Square. So the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre should have waken up the Chinese people to this simple fact: for the CCP to prolong, the Chinese people must suffer and die. There’s no other arrangements.

Simone Gao: I know you came to America. I don’t know when, but you had experienced or heard. I mean, I know you had a deep memory and a lot of thinking regarding the Tiananmen Massacre happened in 1989. Can you just tell me a little bit, whether, I mean, before and after, like how your thoughts on China have changed because of the event?

Miles Yu: I think, you know, many people who experienced the 1989 momentous events in Tiananmen and elsewhere, like the Eastern Europe and Soviet Union, all share something in common. And that common experience is this: that is, a communist rules all have something similar. That is, they rule people with fear. They instill tremendous fear to its people. So people were afraid of doing this and doing that. They were afraid ofspeaking up.

So the true meaning of Tiananmen movement is that for seven weeks people of China, center in Tinanmen square were more or less free of fear instilled by the Chinese Communist Party, those were the freest seven weeks in the history of a Chinese communist regime. So I think that’s why even though it’s a short-lived seven weeks of glory, but that seven weeks gave a lot of people freedom and an individual who tests freedom, no matter how briefly, would never be the same person again.

Miles Yu: That’s why Tiananmen is a momentous moment, not just for any particular individuals who actually participated in that, but also is a moment of awakening to a generation of people, even to generations to follow. And that’s also why the Chinese Communist Party has done its utmost best to wipe out any memory, any commemoration of the Tiananmen movement. And that’s tragedy. Our job as an individual citizen of the world is to keep the memory alive and to understand and appreciate the true meaning of the Tiananmen movement of 1989. That is freedom. So I think that freedom can mean, many things to many people, but that’s my understanding.

Simone Gao: Right. And do you think China will ever regain its freedom?

Miles Yu: Oh yeah. I remember one of the most moving moments in my memory, in the immediate aftermath of Tiananmen, was the American singer, Joan Baez, she composed a very emotionally charged song. And I think the song, the lyric repeats over and over again, it says just simply that China shall be free.

Simone Gao: Okay. All right. Thank you so much. Doctor Yu, these are all my questions. Do you have anything else to add?

Miles Yu: Well, good luck with your program and thank you for having me today.

How China’s Telecoms Steal America’s Most Sensitive Information and What Needs to Be Done About It?

Simone Gao:
On July 25, CNN published an exclusive report that revealed a dramatic escalation of Chinese espionage on US soil over the past decade. The Report says Since at least 2017, federal officials have investigated Chinese land purchases near critical infrastructure, shut down a high-profile regional consulate, that is, the Chinese Consulate in Huston. The US government believed it to be a hot bed of Chinese spies and stonewalled what they saw as clear efforts to plant listening devices near sensitive military and government facilities.

The report also highlighted Huawei, China’s biggest telecommunications company that was once poised to take over the world 5G deployment until the America-led coalition stopped it. The report says the FBI uncovered Huawei  equipment atop cell towers near US military bases in the  rural Midwest. According to multiple sources familiar with the matter, the FBI determined the equipment was capable of capturing and disrupting highly restricted Defense Department communications, including those used by US Strategic Command, which oversees the country’s nuclear weapons.

It’s unclear if the intelligence community determined whether any data was actually intercepted and sent back to Beijing from these towers. Sources familiar with the issue say that from a technical standpoint, it’s incredibly difficult to prove a given package of data was stolen and sent overseas.

It is significant that this report came after Hua Wei’s 5G ambition had been shattered by the U.S. government two years ago. The defeat of Hua Wei in 5G was a great victory on the side of the free world. Many people think the threat posed by Huawei is gone. But is it really? To find out the answer, I spoke with Keith Krach, former under secretary of State for the Trump administration, who was behind the Hua Wei take down operation, about this matter and more.

Simone Gao:
Do you think Huawei still poses a significant national security threat to America right now and what should be done about it?

Keith Krach:
Absolutely, Simone, and I am sure our intelligence agencies and the Defense Department are monitoring this closely, but it should be shut down immediately. You know, Huawei is an arm of the Chinese government. They have some of the most sophisticated capabilities in the world to do all kinds of things that might not be detected. And obviously the information in that area is some of the most vital to our national security. We’re talking about the nuclear arsenal and it ranks absolutely near the top in terms of the kind of information the CCP wants, that information is priceless.

Simone Gao:
You are the person who executed the Huawei take-down operation and later expanded that approach to create the clean network. What are the essential facts you learnt about China’s technological aggression from that operation and what is your core strategic response to that aggression?

Keith Krach:
Well, Simone, here’s what I learned: that Huawei is the most important company to the CCP. It’s the backbone for their surveillance state. They’re the national champ in 5G. And you know, this tool is a tool that, you know, the worst of dictators could have only dreamed of, you know, they use this in Xinjiang, they use it literally everywhere. They test it out in Xinjiang, they monitor all the people in China. Now they’re exporting it like, dictator out of the box. And you know, it seemed two years ago was inevitable that the CCP’s master plan to control 5G was absolutely unstoppable. But as you pointed out, the Clean Network Alliance of Democracies ended up defeating this master plan. And, you know, the interesting thing is they’ve tried to use this everywhere and they will stop at nothing.

Keith Krach:
You know, the other big area, and Huawei has a subsidiary in this area is underwater cable, because there you can literally tap at anything. And I’ll tell you what we found out as we went around the world, building that Clean Network Alliance of Democracies, which has now formed the basis for president Biden’s internet declaration, is that nobody trusts the CCP and that’s their biggest weakness. And, you know, if you look at the information that 5G networks carry, you know, we’re not just talking about a smartphone, we’re talking about sanitation systems, utility grids, power systems, internet of things, manufacturing processes. This is vital. So, you know, we have to stay on top of this as democracies all around the world.

Simone Gao:
I understand recently you formed the Krach Institute for Tech Diplomacy and the Global Tech Security Commission. I believe they are the continuation of your response to China’s technological aggression. So can you tell us more of the thoughts behind these efforts?

Keith Krach:
Sure, Simone. You know, the key to securing freedom for this next generation is securing technology and tomorrow’s tech must be trusted tech and developed by a global trust network of like-minded countries, companies, and individuals who respect the rule of law, human rights, labor practices, the environment, respect for property of all kinds, and of course, respect for national sovereignty. And, you know, the objective is to develop the definitive global tech security strategy to safeguard freedom through the adoption of trusted technology, by designing a set of sector specific strategies, as well as taking an integrated approach that democracies can adopt to counter techno-authoritarianism. So three factors make up the commission’s scope uniquely, strategic in terms of countering those threats. First, the commission will focus on in-depth strategies in the 17 critical tech sectors that the White House name.

Keith Krach:
Basically the same ones that we used in the last administration just broken up a little bit differently. And the key is to integrate those into an overarching tech strategy. The second is, the scope is gonna be global and also private sector led, with commissioners from international companies and institutions. And we will represent more than a dozen countries as parts of democracies’ common efforts to compete in this emerging technology space. You know, the third thing is while previous commissions have primarily focused on analysis of the problems with recommendations limited to defensive policies, the global tech security commission will integrate offensive and defensive strategies and it will be beginning to build a global tech trust network, kind of carry on that Clean Network Alliance of Democracies, as well as defining overarching tech trust standards. And the objective is to accelerate the adoption of trusted technology,

Simone Gao:
Right. One of the strategies Global Tech Security Commission features is that the scope of the operation will be global and private sector led. Why is that? Why should the private sector instead of the government lead the effort?

Keith Krach:
So, first of all, Simone, the commission’s global tech security strategy is designed to complement recent multinational efforts that are led by governments to counter authoritarianism, such as the Indo-Pacific economic framework and the future of the internet declaration, as I talked about before. And by building a public- private coalition to promote democratic trust principles and digital trust standards and the widespread adoption trusted technology, you know, this is gonna have a really, really big impact. You know, one of the things that we’re seeing is, you know, some of the most prominent board members in the United States are demanding from their CEOs a China contingency plan, with the heightened risk of a conflict between China and Taiwan. There’s no doubt about it, that secretary Xi looks at China as, you know, it dispels his myth that he’s created that the Chinese culture cannot live in a democracy.

Keith Krach:
Nothing could be farther from the truth and Taiwan proves that. So he wants it destroyed. And so this has kind of heightened that risk, and for democracies Taiwan’s role model of freedom and a lynchpin in that area in terms of global economic security and national security. And obviously there’s semiconductor businesses the top in the world, which is the most important industry. So, you know, for corporations, if there’s a China-Taiwan conflict, then you know, this is gonna be devastating and absolutely catastrophic for the high tech industry. So, you know, these companies are putting together these contingency plans because they saw what happened when Putin invaded Ukraine. They had to pull all their operations out of Russia, cost hundreds of billions of dollars. And they were totally caught off guard and China is 10 to 20 times larger impact, more entangled.

Keith Krach:
So this is really important for boards to demand this from their CEOs because a board member’s fiduciary duty is to mitigate risk. And just like you have a plan for a cybersecurity breach, you need to have a contingency plan in case there’s that Taiwan-China conflict because if you don’t, and you don’t actually start on it right now, it’s gonna be too late by the time if it’s after the fact. And that’s why at the Krach Institute for Tech Diplomacy at Purdue, we’re getting requests in terms of what do these contingency plans look like? So those are some of the areas we’re helping out different corporations on.

Simone Gao:
Right. The commission will also integrate offensive and defensive strategies while previous commissions have primarily focused on defensive policies. Why is there such a change?

Keith Krach:
Well, the one thing I can tell you Simone, is that the best defense is a strong offense. So, you know, if you look back at the global economic security strategy that we put together a few years ago, there were three main pillars of that. The first one was to turbo charge our economic competitiveness and innovation. The second one was safeguard strategic assets that would be looked at as defensive that first one offensive. And the third one of course, was to build a network of trusted partners. So that is absolutely critical. You know, a great example of what we’re doing offensively is the Chips Act, the Chips plus Act

Simone Gao:
On August 9, President Joe Biden signed into law a multibillion dollar bill boosting domestic semiconductor and other high-tech manufacturing sectors that US leaders fear are being dominated by rival China.

Joe Biden:
The CHIPS and Science Act supercharges our efforts to make semiconductors here in America. This increased research and development funding is going to ensure the United States leads the world in the industries of the future. From Quantum computing to artificial intelligence to advanced biotechnology, the kinds of investment that will deliver vaccines for cancer cures, for HIV, invent the next big thing that hasn’t even been imagined yet.

Simone Gao:
The Chips and Science Act includes around $52 billion to promote production of microchips.

Keith Krach:
Because this is investing and securing the semiconductor supply chain, which all kind of began with that 5G trifecta, which was the opening salvo for the clean network, where we onshore TSMC in the largest onshore in history, 12 billion dollars.

Our strategy for that and our hope was that it would do three big things. One is TSMC would bring their ecosystem of suppliers, which is absolutely huge, that indeed happened. The second is that it would spur the other semiconductor manufacturers we’re trying to get on board to invest, especially Samsung and Intel. And indeed that happened as a matter of fact, Samsung recently announced 17 billion dollars additional investment in the United States and then Intel, you know, less than a year after we did that onshoring, they announced a 20 billion investment in Arizona, and now they’re doing a 20 billion plus investment in the state of Ohio where I’m from. So this is absolutely great. The other thing that we’re hoping for and we really, our strategy was designed for, is that we would get universities to develop curriculum in semiconductor engineering and also much more work in semiconductor, R and D.

Keith Krach:
And that is happening, you know, at Purdue, my old Alma mater, we just announcedthe United States’ first master’s degree in semiconductor engineering. So there’s a lot of investments. It really spur that on. So that’s an example of the areas where we can work together. And that’s one of the reasons why, you know, we designed a thing called the TD 12 or Techno Democracy 12, where we could not only work on things like defensive things like investment screening and export controls, those kind of things, but also in terms of collaborating in terms of R and D ’cause there’s a lot of economies of scale there.

Simone Gao:
China is weaponizing big data against the West, applications such as TikTok collect massive amount of user data, analyzing them, generate content that tailored to individual users’ interest, get people addicted, and then try to influence their political views once the app becomes indispensable to them. So what is the best way to eliminate such a danger?

Keith Krach:
Well, I can tell you one thing, Simone, that, you know, TikTok as well as U.S. tech platforms are used as a propaganda tool by China and, you know, and why do they do that? They want us so dissension because there’s nothing that general secretary Xi fears more than a united United States. So to try to work both ends of the political spectrum or so discontent, that’s been their aim for a long, long time. We have plenty of evidenc in open source on that. You know, the other thing is two big key areas is transparency and reciprocity. So if you look at that great, I call it the great one way China firewall, where all the data comes in for their own use, including their military artificial intelligence applications, as well as their social credit score.

Keith Krach:
I mean, you look at that and then, you know, but none flows out and then reciprocally all the propaganda goes out, but the truth does not come in. And what they’re doing is they’re extending their great one way firewall to, you know, to really, you know, export that all around the world to influence operations, influence different countries, influence different political systems. So this is something where this tech state craft model that we develop while we were building the Clean Network Alliance of Democracies that integrates Silicon valley strategies with foreign policy tools, all based on this trust doctrine. That’s where that this model works in all those different areas. So that’s the key thing that we’ve gotta do.

Simone Gao:
On one side, there is the alliance of democracies, on the other side, we start to see a China-Russia alliance taking shape quickly. In recent years, Russia and China have significantly deepened their bilateral ties, with Putin and Xi going so far as to proclaim that their countries’ “friendship has no limits.” China and Russia share economic and security interests, an authoritarian style of government, and a common enemy- The United States. Cooperation on high-tech has become an important element of this strategic partnership with areas of collaboration include, for example, artificial intelligence (AI), big data, robotics, and biotechnology. Furthermore, China has also become Russia’s largest supplier of semiconductors and consumer electronics over time.

Simone Gao:
My last question, are you concerned about a China-Russia technological alliance against the West and what should be done about it?

Keith Krach:
Well, the totalitarian twins, they signed their love letter back there, early February, right before the Olympics, this pact between Putin and Xi, and, you know, that’s where they both agreed. You know, that was, that was a green light for Putin to attack and this bloody war in Ukraine and commit all these war crimes and also, you know, Russia’s backing China on Taiwan so, you know, but the bloom has come off the roses for both these totalitarian states. I think the world has really woken up that these guys they’re up to no good. And they want to take, you know, countries’ freedoms away. They’re exporting that model. Now the good news is they don’t trust each other. And they never will, you know, but I could tell you who has the upper hand in that relationship, you could see it in that love letter, is China that’s for sure. And by the way, that’s more reason Simone, why an alliance of democracies based on this trust doctrine, which is something that they fear so much because they know if it’s a battle that involves values and ideals, we’ll win every time.

Simone Gao:
Thank you. The secretary Krach for joining Zooming In today again.

Keith Krach:
Thanks so much for having me Simone.

Has Pelosi’s Taiwan Trip Changed America’s Strategic Ambiguity? A Chat with Rupert Hammond-Chambers.

Simone:
Okay. Thank you, Mr. Chambers for joining Zooming In today.

Rupert Hammond-Chambers:
It’s my pleasure, Simone, it’s always a pleasure to speak with you. Thank you for inviting me.

Simone:
Right. Um, thank you. So let’s talk about speaker Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan. So overall, what do you think of Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan? Do you think it will help stabilize the situation over the Taiwan straight and discourage Xi Jinping from using force on Taiwan?

Rupert Hammond-Chambers:
Well, I think speaker Pelosi had every right to travel to Taiwan. Uh, her trip was consistent with American policy for high level visitors to visit the island. And the United States should continue to communicate with the Taiwan leadership at the highest levels of the American government. We have many mutual interests and her trip to Taipei, to meet president Tsai and some of the leadership was entirely consistent. As to whether or not Taiwan is safer or more dangerous as a consequence of the trip. Um, we’ll have to wait and see. I think the point I would make is that the PRC has been raising tensions in the Taiwan strait now for years. It is hard to determine what is a function of the PRC using American policy as an excuse to heightened tensions and what is just the PLA and the PRC heightening tensions on their own trajectory. So I’m not particularly persuaded, frankly, that the PLA reaction on the direction from the CCP is anything more than just an excuse to continue to ramp up tensions around Pelosi’s trip when in actuality they’re doing it anyway.

Simone:
Right, right. So it doesn’t matter what the US provokes, so-called provoke, China or not. They’re gonna do it anyway. If not the Pelosi excuse, they’ll find something else.

Rupert Hammond-Chambers:
100%. And I must admit, I know it’s not your words, Simone. I recognize that, but I reject the word “provoke”. No one’s provoking the Chinese, right. Um, countries around the world, particularly the United States have every right to have a relationship with Taiwan. And our relationship with Taiwan has been remarkably consistent over the decades, the only entity, uh, country destabilizing Asia at the moment, and particularly the Taiwan straight is China.

Simone:
Right. Right. And we do know that China has launched multiple military drills during and after Pelosi’s visit. So do you think, uh, they’re just bluffs or people should really concern, people should be concerned about those operations?

Rupert Hammond-Chambers:
Yeah. Look, um, the Chinese have been spending extraordinary amounts of money over the last three decades or two and a half decades on force modernization. And they’ve built up a significant military capability, training that capability to make it operate at a high level is important for the Chinese. And we can expect them to continue to do that in the South China sea, in the seas around Japan and of course, around Taiwan. So that’s certainly consistent. So anyway, I think we can, excuse me, Simone. I think we can expect the Chinese to continue to do that. Is it outta the ordinary? Uh, I don’t think so. I think that the PLA are going to look to continue to do those sort of exercises.

The only thing that’s somewhat different this time, there are several things. One is the scale of it. Obviously we’re talking about major exercises in a number of different areas around the island. Um, and also what they’re doing. They’re pursuing a blockade scenario or as someone referring to it as a quarantine. I don’t myself like that word quarantine, it’s a blockade. My own view is, is that while we should certainly consider and prepare for the possibility that the Chinese would invade Taiwan, uh, as the difference between possibility and probability, I think is important to hear. The Chinese have a range of options that they view they can pursue in respect to absorbing Taiwan of which a D-Day style landing is probably the least likely and sort of operation that we’re seeing right now, a blockade scenario is more likely. And I think, you know, as a consequence, we can see them practicing that

Simone:
Hmm. Just practicing, or they will just do that and do not leave?

Rupert Hammond-Chambers:
Oh, just practicing. Yes. It’s very, very hard to imagine that the Chinese… Well, a couple of things, one that the Chinese politically would want to maintain it. Mr. Xi wants to make his point, but he also wants to focus on his own domestic political interests this autumn. And maintaining a crisis in the Taiwan strait is not necessarily conducive to him securing an indefinite third term of power. So I think that that’s important. I think also the longer that they train like that, the more information that the US, Japan, the Australians and others can garner about their capabilities. I mean, an important point I think to note is that their ability to sustain operations is an important consideration for us, as we learn what they’re doing, they may not be able to do it for more than two or three days or four days. That might be the limit that they can, they can handle. So they would want to make their point and then stop when they’ve made their point at a high level, as opposed to trailing off, if they are unable to maintain the tempo of operations.

Simone:
Hmm. That’s interesting. You know, the Washington Post and New York Times both published articles about speaker Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan. So I mean, this is op-ed, and what their opinion is, this trip is not wise because it put the US in an unprepared state. And I don’t know, they didn’t probably use the word “provoke”, but this would definitely give China the opportunity, the excuse to, you know, do these operations, do these preparations and stuff. So they think this is a not right time for Pelosi to do this. Do you think this opinion is popular among the American political circle?

Rupert Hammond-Chambers:
Well, in some quarters it is, certainly for those who advanced it during Mr. Bush and Mr. Obama’s presidency, when a more accommodationist policy towards China was in operation and where American national interest, as it related to Taiwan was often driven by Chinese concerns over America’s relationship with Taiwan. I would simply respond that Taiwan, excuse me, China, Beijing, opposes any, and all American engagement with Taiwan. They don’t, whatever confers sovereignty they oppose. So they’re using this as an excuse, but in the end, they oppose our relationship with Taiwan across the board, what the New York Times and Washington Post editorial pages were arguing was that we should abdicate our own interest because it upsets the Chinese, we’ve tried and tested that approach for 20 plus years. And it got us into a very difficult situation with the Chinese, where they advanced their interests at American cost. And we thought we had a new policy path that was bipartisan, that started in 2017 with Mr. Trump and ran through the first year of the Biden administration. It is possible though that the Biden administrations senior leadership is considering an adjustment to that where we return to a more accommodationist policy towards China. That would be very disappointing. And it’s certainly what the Chinese, pardon me, the Washington Post and the New York Times were arguing.

Simone:
I wanna ask you this. Do you think Pelosi’s trip has turned America’s strategic ambiguity into strategic clarity over Taiwan?

Rupert Hammond-Chambers:
I do not. No. I think Mrs. Pelosi’s trip is entirely consistent with a high level travel that we’ve been undertaking for you know, three decades plus, and I don’t see it as a shift in the notion of strategic ambiguity over strategic clarity. No, I don’t see that.

Simone:
And you don’t think, I mean, do you think Pelosi can represent the position of the Biden administration?

Rupert Hammond-Chambers:
I don’t. I think she, obviously she speaks for the house of representatives as a speaker. She’s certainly a senior member of the democratic party, which is the ruling party at the moment in the United States. So of course she has authority, but I don’t believe that when she’s in Taiwan and nor that the Chinese believe that she speaks for the Biden administration, maybe some in China are more conspiratorially driven, might think that, but the separation of powers in the United States are clearly defined. And Mrs. Pelosi doesn’t have to ask Mr. Biden permission, nor does she necessarily have to advocate directly for Biden administration policies or approaches. The Congress has typically been more forward leaning on Taiwan policy than the executive branch, irrespective of whether Democrats or Republicans are in charge.

Simone:
Hmm. And the Biden administration. Would you still say they are,, they haven’t changed. They’re still going for the strategic ambiguity.

Rupert Hammond-Chambers:
Yes. I think that’s certainly the public position. Although the president has on three separate occasions made very clear and concise comments about coming to Taiwan’s aid if the Chinese attack, I certainly believe, the organization that I represent certainly believes that we are now in an era where US policy is better served with more strategic clarity than strategic ambiguity over American interest and our willingness to come to Taiwan’s defense. We believe that that would be a more active deterrent for Chinese action. I think ultimately the PLA while that, while they, the Taiwan military may cause some complications for them, the militaries that they really fear are the United States, Japan, and possibly the Australians acting in concert to repel an invasion. That’s the real threat to the PLA.

Simone:
Mm-hmm. Yeah. I was gonna ask you a question on that, but before that, uh, I just wanna nail down on this. So you think both the Biden administration and Congress, I mean, represented by Pelosi are still on the strategic ambiguity side. So if that’s the case, then what has Mrs. Pelosi accomplish for this trip?

Rupert Hammond-Chambers:
Well, what she’s accomplished is, one, it’s important to engage with Taiwan at a high level. She represents the US Congress, one of the three pillars of American power and her ability to dialogue and to hear directly from the leader of Taiwan on the security threat, represented by the Chinese, the economic opportunities represented by a stronger and broader commercial relationship between the US and Taiwan are all hugely important to the US Congress and for the leader of the house of representatives to hear directly from the Taiwan leadership about what is going on, what their interests are, how we could potentially incorporate is important. She has enormous control over legislation and legislation that can have a direct impact on American interests. So 100% she has every right to go. And in fact, the fact that she chose to go will, I hope, become a precedent for speakers of the house.

Simone:
Mm, okay. So next question, in your opinion, if the CCP launched an attack on Taiwan right now, is there a chance of victory for them, even if the US and its allies intervened?

Rupert Hammond-Chambers:
There’s always, there is a possibility, probability, you know, it’s not zero that they would get defeated. Sure. There’s a possibility that if… it’s a lot of ifs, isn’t it. If they attacked, would they win? I understand what you’re trying to present. And I don’t want to be cavalier about the threat from China, but there are so many considerations that drive the possibility that China might attack Taiwan in that way, and then have some ability to be successful. And then what does success look like for the PLA? Um, there are a whole range of issues. It would undoubtedly be the most complicated invasion and attack in the history of warfare. So difficult is it to transit the hundred mile Taiwan straight and then land a force significant enough to defeat Taiwan and any forces that came to bear from Taiwan’s friends and allies, Japan, Australia, the United States, maybe the Europeans, the British and others. So that certainly gives China pause and is almost certainly one of the reasons why, well, it is one of the reasons why we argue that there isn’t any imminent threat of invasion of Taiwan given the complications that China faces in attacking.

Simone:
Right, right. You know, from the Russian-Ukrainian war, we learned that intelligence, good weapons, logistics, air dominance, and people’s determination are crucial. So is the US selling the right weapons and enough weapons to Taiwan? And what is the coordination between the two militaries look like?

Rupert Hammond-Chambers:
Yeah, it’s a great question. Simone, one that you obviously know well is swirling around the US policy corridors in Defense Department state up in Congress. And in fact, we talked about it today at a session I co-hosted with the Heritage Foundation on arm sales. There is some debate about what the United States should be providing to Taiwan in the short term. There’s a lot of use of the word asymmetric. Uh, it’s actually very unhelpful. Weapons aren’t asymmetric, strategies are asymmetric. But the Biden administration has a list of weapons they would like Taiwan to prioritize purchasing in the short to medium term, maybe even the longer term. And that list of weapons, while not public, has been made available to the executive branch into some on Capitol Hill. And they’re gonna work through how to procure those weapons in the fastest time.

Some of it may come through regular procurement process like foreign military sale, FMS. And some of it may come through the legislation that’s on Capitol Hill at the moment, which would provide foreign military financing and support, in other words, US taxpayer money to procure weapons and then transfer them to Taiwan, which would be the fastest way to go about this. So the administrative work is working set up for a range of different ways to expedite delivery of weapons over a period of time to attempt to deter and complicate PLA planners and hopefully put off indefinitely any thought the PLA and the Chinese may have on attacking Taiwan.

Simone:
Okay. What about the coordination between the two militaries? Are there any at all?

Rupert Hammond-Chambers:
There is some, but… thank you, that’s a very good question. On that latter issue, that’s an area where there needs to be a great deal more. Two huge areas that need to be addressed are, one, training. There’s very little training that’s taking place between the US and Taiwan right now, that needs to change. Obviously the Taiwan Air Force has F16’s in the United States that operate and train. That is a good thing, but the army and the Navy have modest contact and engagement with their counterparts in the United States. There needs to be significant training taking place, and there needs to be significant efforts for the two militaries to interoperate together, to learn, to fight as one force. So I think that’s hugely important. The other piece that needs to take place of course, is interaction and engagement between senior US military offices and senior Taiwan military offices. That just doesn’t happen.

And it needs to, you know. The Indo-Pacific commander out in Honolulu, Hawaii should be interacting with the minister of national defense in Taiwan and the senior MND leadership all the time, and it’s not happening. And that’s a political consideration that needs to shift. With your permission, I just want to explain why I think the US has every right to do it. If you go back to the seventies and eighties, the switch in recognition, and the three communiques that were signed with China, the underpinning of those agreements was that the Chinese would pursue a peaceful engagement and effort to reconcile their differences between Taiwan. That was always the understanding. China is certifiably violating that at the moment with its force modernization and its military and political coercion. That should elicit a response from the United States. We are starting to see that. So claims by the PRC that we are disrupting the status quo are nonsense, all we’re doing is responding to their walking away from the commitments they made in the seventies and eighties.

Simone:
You just said there’s needs to be a lot more coordination between the US and Taiwan militaries. Are you saying they’re not quite ready for a CCP attack scenario?

Rupert Hammond-Chambers:
Who’s ever ready for an attack? Okay. It’s a good question, but in the end, at any military, if it was asked, are they ready? They’d say, well, we’re ready as we can be right now, but sure we’d love more time to get more ready. So I understand the point that you’re making, but in the end, if China were to attack, we’d be as ready as we were that moment that took place. If they waited another year, we’d have one more year to advance the technology in our weapons or have more coordination with Taiwan. So I understand the question, but you’re only is ready each day as you can be.

Simone:
Regarding the so-called unification, is the time on China’s side or Taiwan side? Because we just talked about it, on one hand we see the Chinese communist regime is getting less and less popular and more and more isolated in the world, and international community is gathering to support Taiwan. But on the other hand, the Chinese military power is set to be catching up to that of the US. So is the time on Taiwan’s side or is the time on China’s side in terms of attack?

Rupert Hammond-Chambers:
Yeah, it’s a great question. I think the Chinese certainly believe that time is on their side, which underscores the view that they’re gonna continue to pursue the strategies they have in place, political, military intimidation without actually attacking Taiwan, because they believe over time, that’ll result in absorbing, coercing the people of Taiwan to accept, you know, in essence political capitulation and absorption into communist China. So they believe that that’s the case. Policy in Taipei and Washington, DC has coalesced around a view of deterrents,the military capabilities of Taiwan and the United States and its allies in the region would suitably deter China from attacking. And I think that is indefinitely into the future.

Simone:
So you think in terms of the military power growth, time is on the US side because we are getting more and more stronger, surpassing, outpacing China’s growth. Is that what you’re saying?

Rupert Hammond-Chambers:
I think I’m saying beauty is in the eye of the beholder. That the Chinese believe that they’ve got time on their side, and we believe that we have the ability to create more time. So I think it’s really a push and shove match between the US and China, Taiwan and China, over how much time, or who thinks their policies and their approach is the right one. The Chinese obviously would like to press Taiwan and shorten the timeline. And our efforts are designed to try and push the timeline out, both from a military coercion standpoint, and importantly also, as well as an economic coercion standpoint.

Simone:
Mm-hmm okay. Interesting. So I want you to try to stand in Xi Jinping’s shoes right now. If he’s determined to take Taiwan, which I think he definitely is, which route do you think he would choose right now? I mean, subversion by infiltration or military attack, or both?

Rupert Hammond-Chambers:
It’s those two things. It’s also economic coercion. I mean, it strikes me as interesting that a huge part of what they’re doing right now, while they might have suffered a tactical defeat because Pelosi went and they didn’t want her to, I think overall, they would look at this as a net positive for themselves because two huge things have happened. One, they’ve reentered the US debate of American national interest, which will surely give the Biden administration pause as they look at other Taiwan related initiatives sending high level visitors and so on. So that’s super important. The second thing, which I think isn’t discussed nearly enough, or almost at all, is that what China is trying to do with all of this is also create a perception that Taiwan is a dangerous place.

And that would place coercive pressure on the people of Taiwan and on its economy. And that potentially it would deter global companies from engaging Taiwan and then by extension weakening the country economically. Okay, well, an economically weaker country can’t buy as many weapons. It can’t train, it’s more vulnerable. And then of course, the Chinese can step in and say, “we’re right here. You know, we’re ready to make you part of China. And all you have to do is hand your political system over, and we will make you as wealthy as you want.”

Simone:
Right. Right. Then what about that? How confident is the American business community in Taiwan? In recent years, many heavyweight American businesses have increased their investment in Taiwan. What other thoughts right now, especially after Pelosi’s visit?

Rupert Hammond-Chambers:
There’s a lot of concern in the C-suite Simone, the leadership levels of American businesses, about the tension in the Taiwan strait, are they making any dramatic changes to their long term plans? Not at the moment, they’re watching with concerned interest, of course, to see what happens, but overall the course is very much set.

It’s very difficult to make the sort of dramatic changes that some might think could be made in the short term. These are long term decisions with long term commitments to capital deployment. But I do think in the next several years, if tensions remain relatively high in the Taiwan strait or, you know, close to crisis level, that companies will be making contingency arrangements to invest in other parts of the world where they, if there is this crisis in the street, they at least have the ability to shift manufacturing to another spot.

Simone:
So thank you Rupert, thank you so much for joining Zooming In today again.

Rupert Hammond-Chambers:
It’s absolutely my honor. Do, please get in touch anytime. Take care.

Simone:
Yeah. Thanks. Bye.

Rupert Hammond-Chambers:
Cheers. Bye.

Documentary | Xi Jinping’s Plan of Dominating the World Using Big Data and Artificial Intelligence

This is TikTok. It puts the world in motion and sets it to music. You create, you laugh and you share. For much of the younger generation, this IS the world. Owned by the Chinese technology company ByteDance, TikTok is one of the world s most popular social media apps. It has been downloaded more than 2 billion times globally and maintains a total of 100 million active users in the United States.

Given that the app has been around for just over 2 years, how has it become so popular so quickly? As I learned from AI experts, TikTok is designed to be addictive. The first time you open it, it doesn t know what you like. It’ll recommend some default pages. Those pages are decided by your locale. His name is Jack, and he is a former employee of Huawei, China s largest telecommunications company. For security reasons, we ve blurred his face. Jack is a Big Data and AI expert. When you register, it may also ask you to make some simple selections. It can guess what your age is, your gender, and also the version of your phone’s operating system, so it can vaguely confirm your identity.

According to these conditions, it may give you recommendations for what videos you may like. He told me that TikTok s system adds multiple tags to every video clicked on by a user. The more videos you click, the more TikTok knows about you. Through this data collection and their powerful algorithm, they can deliver the exact videos you like. Before you realize the tactics, you are addicted to what they deliver.

The story of TikTok is the story of data, big Data. TikTok collects massive amounts of data from its users. According to researchers, and as reported by Bloomberg, TikTok starts collecting data the minute you download the app. It tracks the websites you’re browsing and how you type, down to keystroke rhythms and patterns. The app warns users it has full access to photos, videos and contact information of friends stored in the device’s address book, unless you revoke those permissions.

The app also tracks everywhere you go using your IP address and GPS coordinates, providing the app with your precise location while working, voting, attending protests, traveling, or simply picking up milk from the grocery store. Are we okay with this? Through my conversations with data security experts and everyday users of social media apps, I came to realize that most adults know that information will be collected about them and will be used by marketing companies to target advertising effectively.

This is true of most social media platforms in America. But for Communist China, data is handled in a very different way. Can you compare Google, Facebook and Amazon’s methods of collecting data with that of TikTok? Google is, as I mentioned, compared to all the others, it actually collects the information more aggressively for the commercial purpose. But, remember its commercial purposes, it does not use that to hack you or do something like that, right? But TikTok is a different story.

TikTok is kind of a dangerous animal, because TikTok collects the data, uses the data to improve their algorithm. This is James Qiu, a former Apple executive. He explains how China collects data differently from the Americans. China, you know that there is no privacy. I mean, who cares? Right? So, the company actually collects every single thing of persons. And, because of that, because they have the capability of collecting all the information from a person and they can actually train their deep learning model to be perfect.

In this case, U.S. companies and Western companies cannot compete with them. The privacy law said if one company has 10 different apps, the information collected by each app can only be used by each app. You cannot combine them and interrelate them and then synthesize new data out of them. Okay. So, that is significantly restricted. But for a Chinese company, there is no such a rule. That’s why they can build a better recommendation algorithm, this is a very dangerous company. When it collects your data, they know who you are, they know what you like and dislike. They can actually manipulate you.

Narration: In other words, while TikTok does aggressively collect its own data, its powerful algorithm may not be built solely on data collected within the app. TikTok’s Chinese parent company, ByteDance, has been proven to be a data vacuum entity, amassing a large amount of user data, not only from its three popular apps but also from its many tech partners.

Narration: According to James, the intention of the TikTok s algorithm is to encourage a compulsive use of their app. Once it becomes a compulsion, users are more likely to be manipulated. Messaging hidden in seemingly harmless videos goes well beyond making money. TikTok represents a model the CCP is using to influence the world. Retired U.S. Air Force Brigadier General Robert Spalding explained to me the CCP s grand vision for Big Data and AI:

So Kaifu Lee says that China seeks to become the Saudi Arabia of data. So, think about the entire world’s data and collection of that data as being tantamount to having power over the world. This is the way that the Chinese communist party sees the global internet. Globalization is connected to this… That’s why Xi Jinping goes to Davos and says, We must work together. We must continue globalization. We must continue this global connectivity Because it enables him to take the data into China behind the great firewall and create this huge data ocean that then their artificial intelligence can learn from.

So, this is their goal, because they know that they can use that, just like TikTok is used as a platform to influence. They can use that to influence not only their own people, to basically not know the true history of China, but also to influence the rest of the world. This is the power that, quite frankly, we built. Silicon Valley built this power. We built it and made hundreds, trillions of dollars. The Chinese Communist Party saw that and said, not only do we want to have control over that economic engine, we want to have the ability to influence socially and politically as well.

Thanks for everyone’s help, support and care. His name is Han Kuo-yu, Taiwan s Nationalist Party of China s presidential candidate for 2020. While initially popular as a candidate, he ultimately lost to the incumbent, President Tsai Yingwen, largely due to Taiwan’s overwhelming rejection of the Mainland Chinese government that was backing Han.

While Han s loss was due to the Chinese Communist Party, his initial rise was their doing as well. The key milestone of Han’s political career was his victory in the Kaohsiung mayoral race. Han was largely unknown through the first four months of the election season. A day after formally announcing his campaign, however, a Facebook fan group was formed. The page promoted Han through talking points and memes, consistent sharing of fake news about his opponent and public shaming of his critics. By election day, Han had more than 66,000 members on the fan page and received a surge of fan posts just hours before being elected in a landslide victory.

Dr. Puma Shen, Assistant Professor at National Taipei University, did a study on Han’s sudden rise to popularity. First, China created many websites that published and shared a large number of articles on Han-Kuoyu and fake news on Han s opponent party: The Democratic Progressive Party. They then generated a massive amount of search requests on Han Kuo-yu. They literally overwhelm the system with their requests. By doing so, google’s algorithm worked to push Han related news that the CCP generated to the first two pages.

According to Dr. Shen s research, a significant percentage of the fans on Han’s Facebook group were not from Taiwan. They were from Mainland China. To further demonstrate China s involvement, Dr. Shen s group tested Han’s name on the internet for the final two months of the campaign. They found that Taiwan was just 16th on the list of countries searching for information on Han.

Jack told me the CCP is obviously behind the efforts and this is how they did it. A large number of search results can come from people s natural behavior, and it can also come from bots automatically publishing articles. They can come from IP addresses inside China, from IP address in Taiwan, or IP addresses from any other country. In this way, Taiwan may have less searches than other countries.

According to the Financial Times, key governmental departments in Taiwan receive tens of millions of hacking attempts each month. Then between 2015 and 2017, that number tripled. These attacks, intended to steal sensitive governmental data and personal information, were primarily perpetrated by China. Does the CCP have enough resources to do things in America that s similar to what they do in Taiwan?

That s the scary part. They have been building in the last few decades control over our corporate institutions, our wall street, our investment banks, our political systems, academia, our think tank, our law firms, our PR firms, our consulting firms. You know, what we forget is the Chinese Communist Party doesn’t need to use PLA to do all of these, they can pay Washington PR firms, they can pay Washington consultants, they can pay Washington law firms, and they do.

The Taiwan story took a drastic turn though. Prior to the presidential election, massive demonstrations broke out in Hong Kong against a Chinese extradition law. Those protests, and the CCP s brutal response to them, led the Taiwanese people to reject a future under the rule of the CCP and a president indebted to them. They chose the incumbent President Tsai-Yingwen who, though not popular at the time, is consistently tough on the CCP. It is safe to say, if it is not because of Hong Kong, Beijing would have secured a Taiwanese president of their choosing.

The game to influence a major political election is complicated and can be costly. Sometimes, it takes on the least expected form. This is Christine, an emigrant from China, and a successful real estate agent in the affluent Orange County area of California. Like many among the extensive Chinese diaspora in the U.S., Christine continues to habitually use Chinese apps.

I use a lot of Chinese apps, such as WeChat, Chinese Tiktok Douyin and etc. Because it is very convenient for me to use these apps to communicate with my friends and family in China. WeChat is the world s largest standalone multi-purpose mobile app with a billion active users worldwide, mostly Chinese. Douyin s popularity stems from its short, entertaining videos, much like sister company TikTok. Both are owned by ByteDance but operate independently of each other, with Douyin created for users in China and TikTok designed for international use. Christine says that news about America has been circulating rapidly on these Chinese apps, and they all strike one tone.

Since the Pandemic began, I found there have been a lot of negative reports about America in these apps. Many of them are false, strange reports. They don t reflect what I know about the situation here. I support Trump. But what I saw on WeChat and Douyin is all negative information about Trump. It seems there is more pro-Biden information
out there. America is the biggest threat to global stability and security. Although Douyin uses powerful algorithms to determine your interests and target the recommended content accordingly, algorithms are not the only factor in what Douyin shows to each user.

In China, the most posts DouYin users see are from the Party s mouthpiece – People s daily, simply because DouYin is required by the government to push People s Daily s content to its 500 million active users. As a result of such a powerful promotion, the People s Daily has almost 100 million followers on Douyin today. This is a recognizable and recurring strategy within China. TikTok functions in a similar way to Douyin, only, instead of recommending the CCP s official propaganda, TikTok pushes political content that comes from other app users.

Ethan, a TikTok user from the U.S., told me how it works. Once I started using TikTok, it pushed a lot of anti-Trump or pro-Biden videos to me. But I did not even say or select that I am interested in politics. But after a while, like I used the app for a while, the anti-Trump video became a little bit fewer. I started to see some pro-Trump videos as well. That might be because I did not like or follow any of those anti-Trump videos. But the anti-Trump videos were still like 80 or 60%, around that in the political videos. Recently it changed. It might be because that, I don t even watch those anti-Trump videos. So, right now it is only maybe a quarter or less than that. But there are still Anti-Trump videos pushed to me.

Tiktok has a sophisticated AI model making recommendations to its users. When a user begins to use TikTok without being classified by the system as pro-Biden or pro-Trump. TikTok displays neutral content to the users. I quote neutral since it is based on TikTok s standard. In reality, there are many more pro-Biden content being displayed to the users anyhow. Based on the data collected on the users browsing searching habit, TikTok can classify the users as a conservative user quickly. Then it starts to display a few pro-Trump content to the user while mixing it with various pro-Biden content. When TikTok figures out the user is not very interested in politics, it starts
to display fewer political content.

So the goal of TikTok is to, you know, Number one, do not get this user so upset to the degree that he just won t use TikTok anymore. But at the same time TikTok still pushes pro-Biden content to him in a degree that he can tolerate.

James: That is absolutely right. Do you think TikTok can influence people s political opinions? TikTok has the potential of influence people with the manipulated information. They are good at it. It inherits the AI model of Toutiao which is Bytedance s popular news platform. Toutiao helps the Chinese government monitor and manipulate mass opinions.

So in that sense, do you think TikTok has the potential to influence the American people’s political stance during the election. What TikTok needs to do is to fine tune the AI model using the data they collected from the western country. It is a piece of cake for TikTok. This is what I have learned so far: The danger the CCP poses to the U.S. through TikTok is two-fold. First, it uses pop culture as a trojan horse in order to influence the younger generation. Second, it uses collected American data to perfect its AI model for further manipulation in this country.

On September 28th, Judge Carl Nichols of the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C revoked the Trump Administration s ban on TikTok, leaving it available for download in U.S. app stores through November 12th. The Trump administration originally demanded that TikTok be sold to an American company or face a complete ban within the U.S.. A
proposal emerged between TikTok, Oracle and Walmart, but despite an early signal of support from Trump, questions over exact ownership percentages and the data hosting arrangement suspended the deal.

I talked to a Huawei expert about this prospect of, uh, Oracle, uh, owning part of the company overseas. you know, oversees, the security operation oversees their coding and everything. And he said, as long as ByteDance is still a main stakeholder there, uh, technician Chinese technicians are still writing the code. There are managers overseeing the daily operation and they are participating in the decision making, risks cannot be eliminated at all. I mean, the Chinese, no matter how good the deal looks like on the surface, do you agree?

By allowing the Chinese communist party to have any interest whatsoever, whether it’s in understanding the technology, or it is in allowing people to actually physically touch the code or the hardware where the code runs, it’s all vulnerable. TikTok s use of a powerful Chinese algorithm, and the resulting collection of user data, has revealed another possibility: the likelihood that apps from China may be operating with secret access keys, master passwords, and secret commands, called backdoors. In spite of that risk, James told me that thousands of Chinese apps are accepted in the Apple and Google app stores every year without a proper vetting process.

So, how does Apple vet Chinese apps that are trying to enter its app store? A lot of Chinese apps actually sneaked into the U.S. app store as if it is native. Right? So that is the first problem. The second problem is when Apple app store checks the apps, it checks very basic stuff. So, basically, Apple published a set of rules, and every mobile app needs to follow those rules. Apple only checks off those kinds of things, but as for whether the app is kind of tracking the customer behavior and you know send the private data into a third party server, or use that for commercial purposes or other purposes, Apple has no way to check it. So, in that sense, every mobile app has a widely open back door that can do whatever they want to.

Silicon Valley may be the country s best line of defense against malicious apps from China. But they seem uninterested in that responsibility. How much control or how much reign does the national security establishment have on the Silicon Valley?

None, zero. In fact, a Silicon Valley despises the national security establishment. Now there’s a few people that have worked within, um, government, but what happens is many of them are entrepreneurs or people that think outside of the box. And of course, what you find when you come to Washington, D C is it abhores, you know, people that think outside of the box, they want conformity and they want you to be, be bureaucratic. So, they don’t tend to last very long and they don’t tend to make much headway because in order to actually innovate in government, you have to have patience.

You have to be wily and you have to kind of figure out where is the way that you can actually make, um, you know, progress happen. There’s not a lot of people that are willing to do that because they get frustrated by the bureaucracy. In 2017, General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, Xi Jinping, announced a bold plan for Beijing. He predicted that China would catch up with the United States in AI by 2025 and lead the world by 2030. China may have reached that goal earlier than they had planned.

Although America still leads in cutting-edge AI technology, China has surpassed America in AI application. They accomplished this by collecting far more data. More data means better AI. I believe that, in the eyes of Xi Jinping and his colleagues, Big Data and AI are more than just another curious technology. Xi openly stated that Big Data is the most critical national resource for China. Why would he believe so? Likely because the CCP knows exactly what Big Data and AI are capable of, how they can be used to control over their own people and manipulate other countries. Best of all, the Party is confident that their political system guarantees China a reliable advantage
in data collecting and AI application over the free world.

I mean what do you think is the biggest strength America still has today over China? The constitution. I think the constitution, as an idea, as a foundation for how to build a society, a blueprint, if you will, for how to build a human society, where you have human frailty and you have to deal with it, and you have to ensure that the way you deal with that is to ensure that no human or humans can have ultimate power. I think that is the strength of America. Our total existence as a free society, where people are allowed to live as they want and reach their, to present potential is at risk from the tools that we ourselves built. And the Chinese communist party have appropriate and begun to, you know, use extensively to undermine our society.

It has been 244 years since this nation was founded. At that time, a claim was made. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I believe if these claims are true, they must
be true then, true during the civil war and true today.

If you go back to the founding of this country, it wasn’t everybody that decided, Hey, we wanted a free country. It was a few, it was a determined few that were not going to be subjugated, that they were going to stand up for their rights. And they were going to find other people that were like-minded and they were going to work together to build this new land. And those people exist today.

We just have not been fighting to get, so yes, absolutely. We can win. We just have to stand up and fight. Fighting together. Democrats and Republicans. Absolutely.

Doc | Xi’s Path to Dictatorship for Life? | Zooming In with Simone Gao

Simone: This is the biggest power struggle that could decide China’s future for years.

Does this mean Xi Jinping was losing power and was forced to admit his mistakes?

The Communist Party’s 20th National Congress is going to be held in fall. The fight comes down to whether Xi Jinping will get a third term as the top leader of the country.

Tang Jingyuan: The second is that Li Keqiang did not wear a mask in public for many times, and he hardly ever mentioned the zero-covid policy in his speeches.

Li Jun: If Sun and Fu’s people dare to stir things up, Sun’s life could be taken.

Simone: The Party’s conclave is three month away, but the real decisions are being made now.

This is Beidaihe, a coastal resort town on northeast China’s Bohai Sea. Its long beaches are known for their shallow waters and fine yellow sand. Because of its proximity to the capital, Beidaihe is commonly used by the Party’s top leadership, past and present, each July to slip away from the summer heat of Beijing to plan strategies. Although those gatherings are held informally, some of the most important decisions such as the appointment and removal of senior officials are decided in this beach town.

This year, Beidaihe is of particular significance since the Party’s 20th National Congress is going to be held in fall when the new top leadership will be elected. Xi Jinping will or will not resume a third term as General Secretary of the Party, Chairman of the Central Military Commission, and President of the People’s Republic of China. This will be the pivotal event of Chinese politics for years to come. However, the October conclave is just for show. The real decisions will be made now, including at the Beidaihe meetings.

The most important part of the Beidaihe process is, however, the time leading up to it. That is when the real battles take place. The power balance between different factions hangs on the outcome of these maneuvers. And exactly during that time, multiple indications point to Xi under attack by CCP top leadership for many of his policy falterings, appearing forced to cede some power to China’s Premier, Li Keqiang.

On May 11, the Wall Street Journal published an article titled “China’s Forgotten Premier Steps Out of Xi’s Shadow as Economic Fixer.” It says “Frustrations with Mr. Xi’s leadership are building ahead of the CCP’s 20th national congress.” Meanwhile support is rallying around Mr. Li who has been known for his reform-minded economic approach.

The Journal says supporters of Mr. Li include officials with ties to the Communist Youth League, a once-powerful organization that produced past leaders including former party chief Hu Jintao.

Ten days after the Wall Street Journal was published, a primetime news piece from China Central Television, the biggest government owned TV station in China, appeared to support the journal’s position.

CCTV Anchor: On the 25th, the State Council held a national teleconference on stabilizing the economy. Li Keqiang, member of the Standing Committee of the Polibureau of the Central Committee and Premier of the State Council, delivered an important speech.

Simone: At this so-called “Stabilize the Overall Economic Condition” teleconference, Li Keqiang made a few critical points to over one hundred thousand Party officials at the provincial, county, municipal and district levels.

He first claimed that “In some ways, the challenges now are “greater than when the pandemic hit hard in 2020”. Li said “We are currently at a critical juncture in determining the economic trend of the whole year.” He stressed the importance of coordinating virus control and economic development. He laid out the bottomline: The central government will not help the local government. There is a reserved fund for major natural disasters at the central government’s disposal, other than that, the local government needs to take care of themselves.

What’s the significance of this meeting? How is it related to the power struggle in the party? I spoke with Li Jun, a senior Chinese journalist who had been covering the political affairs of the country in state owned Chinese media for two decades.

Do you think Li Keqiang’s 100,000 people conference tells us that Xi Jinping is losing power and Li is replacing him?

Li Jun: I don’t think Li Keqiang’s 100,000 people conference was an indication that Xi’s lost control of power. The most important reason for this conference is that it had to be done. China’s economy is in great trouble, from years of 5 to 7% of growth to almost zero growth in the second quarter this year according to CCP’s own statistics. The actual situation may be worse.

So under such dire circumastance, Li Keqiang had to have this conference. The second reason is that running the economy is Li Keqiang’s job anyway. It is the premier’s responsibility if the economy is in trouble. The third thing we need to know is that Li Keqiang must have obtained Xi Jinping’s approval to hold such a conference.

I don’t think Li dares to challenge Xi Jinping now because it would put him in a dangerous situation. Meanwhile, I think Xi giving Li the permission to hold such a conference is also to put the blame on Li. Li became a scapegoat for the bad economy. So to sum it up, I think it is far-fetched to say that Xi Jinping has lost power since Li Keqiang held this mega conference.

Simone: However, Li Keqiang’s mega conference isn’t the only thing that led people to think Xi is losing power. One month later, Europe had an unexpected visitor.

In mid June, the central government dispatched a special envoy representing Xi Jinping, to Europe for a three-week charm offensive. Wu Hongbo, China’s former Ambassador to the UN was given a clear task: at every stop, Wu conceded China had “made mistakes,” from its handling of Covid-19, to its “wolf warrior” diplomacy, to its economic mismanagement.

This apology tour was made against the backdrop of a dangerously slowing Chinese economy and the quick worsening of the China-Europe relationship partially due to Xi’s support of Putin in the Russia-Ukraine war. Wu made it very clear that Europeans are China’s preferred partners, as opposed to the United States. His bottom line is: China will always be China, a country of growing significance and economic opportunities for Europe.

Xi Jinping’s special envoy went on an apologizing tour in Europe. Does THIS mean Xi Jinping was forced to admit his mistakes?

Li Jun: Are you saying Xi admitted he was wrong? I don’t think that’s what the CCP members do. They would only appear to admit they were wrong when they were in crisis to avoid punishment. In fact, I think Wu’s trip was Xi Jinping’s damage control to head off the crisis before the Party’s 20th National Congress so he could be re-elected smoothly. Otherwise, I don’t believe he would send his representative to court the Europeans or the international community.

In fact, this is not the first time the CCP admitted its mistakes. In the early days of reform and opening up, the CCP invited American politicians to visit China. It conceded that the CCP’s previous path was mistaken. Now we will embark on a path to develop the economy. Only with economic development, we will be able to move towards democracy and freedom.

We truly want to change. But we are too poor, too backward. We made huge mistakes with class struggles. America should give us an opportunity to correct that mistake. You should help us. It turned out the U.S. politicians truly believed China and did its best to help China. But the result is that China becomes powerful and increasingly totalitarian.

The West should learn its lesson. Do not believe the CCP will truly repent. In fact, What Xi Jinping’s real message for the Europeans was: I am seeking re-election at the 20th National Congress. Do not make trouble for me now. Things will be taken care of after I am re-elected. That’s it.

Simone: But there are also analysts who believe there is a fierce power struggle and a tug of war within the top leadership. Tang Jingyuan who is a senior China analyst and the host of the YouTube channel Foresight Jingyuan Tang is one of them.

Jingyuan Tang: Now that the power struggle between Xi Jinping and the opposition is becoming more and more obvious in the Chinese media, we can see it from several aspects: one is that the number of articles touting Xi Jinping has decreased and his absence from the front page has increased;

the second is that Li Keqiang did not wear a mask in public for many times, and he hardly ever mentioned the zero-covid policy in his speeches, although news showing these facts was often restricted;

the third indicator is that when Li Keqiang urged local officials to rescue the economy at his 100,000 people conference, the state media was touting how China’s economy overall was in a good shape.

From these signs, we can see that there is a battle of routes between “zero-covid policy” and “economic development” at the Party’s top leadership. And this fight is becoming more and more intense and obvious. It shows that Xi Jinping’s status in the party has been strongly challenged, and his position might be as unshakable as it seemed.

This will cast doubt on his re-election at the Party’s 20th National Congress.

We can also see that after Xi politicized the Zero-Covid policy by tying it to his status and governance ability. To a large extent, whether or not the zero-covid policy can continue will become the barometer of Xi’s status in the party.

Simone: And the Zero-Covid policy continued. On May 5th, the People’s Daily published an article to reinstate the unwavering execution of the zero-Covid policy to show Xi Jinping has not conceded in this regard.

Since then, despite the public outcry in Shanghai, Tianjin and Beijing which had been hit with waves of omicron, the local governments have been insisting that their cities be locked down when the virus arrived.

Simone: Besides the epidemic control policy, there are other events that are considered to be closely related to the Party’s 20th Congress and Xi’s position at the top leadership. Most notably three high profile corruption cases. The first case is related to a Chinese-Canadian tycoon who was abducted from Hong Kong by the Party apparatus five years ago.

This is the luxury Four Seasons Hotel in Central, Hong Kong. At around 1am on January 27, 2017, billionaire Xiao Jianhua was reported to be taken away by half a dozen unidentified men from the hotel lobby in a wheelchair, his head covered with a blanket. Xiao did not resist.

Since then Xiao had disappeared from the public eye until 2020 when Xiao’s Tomorrow Group confirmed that their boss was on the mainland and cooperating with the government’s efforts to restructure the conglomerate.

The total worth of the Tomorrow Group that comprised nine companies was up to hundreds of billions of dollars. Its business expanded from securities, futures, to state-dominated industries, including banking, insurance, coal, cement, property and rare-earth minerals.

It was widely understood that the Tomorrow Group had close relationships with top Chinese elite families including Jiang Zemin, Zeng Qinghong, Liu Yunshan, Wen Jiabao, Jia Qinglin and most importantly, Xi Jinping.

In fact, it is considered the common vehicle to help these families to make money and white wash their money. Gao Wenqian, a CCP historian, once said that whoever controls Xiao Jianhua will have the upper hand in the power struggle within the party since he would obtain the corruption evidence of these elites from Mr. Xiao.

Xiao’s case was put on hold for 5 years until earlier this month when the Canadian embassy revealed that his case would be put on trial on July 4 without consular access.

Why was Xiao put on trial right now? His charges were reportedly reduced to illegal collection of public deposits. What does this mean?

Li Jun: The Westerners do not know Xiao Jianhua. Who is Xiao Jianhua? He is the one that managed the money for Jiang Zemin, Zeng Qinghong, Jia Qinglin and many other powerful families in the CCP.

We call people like Xiao the White Gloves. He knows many secrets of these powerful families. He also worked with these families to oppose Xi. For example, he was behind the stock market crash in China in 2015, which cost a damage of 2.7 trillion yuan or $450 billion dollars.

He had committed serious crimes, but why was he able to get away with it? Some people say this shows that Xi is losing power and that was Xi’s concession to his opposition. In fact, this is not the case.

I think the reason his crime was reduced to illegally collecting public deposits is because Xi Jinping was trying to show that Xiao Jianhua was very cooperative: “he told us everything”.

These powerful families’ dirt is in my hands. I have reduced Xiao’s sentence to show good will to those families.

That is to say, if these families do not stir up trouble for me before the 20th national congress, I will keep you safe. But if you mess with me, I have your dirt in my hands, I will destroy you under the name of corruption. I think this is what Xi Jinping meant.

Who Will Be the Next Victim of Organ Harvesting after China Exhaust Falun Gong and Uyghers?

Simone: In our last episode, Ethan Gutmann told me that by 2014, the number of organs harvested from the Falun Gong practitioners were running lower, because some practitioners were persecuted to death, some were aging and others fled China. Also in 2014, the Chinese Communist Party Secretary General Xi Jinping announced a policy called “people’s war on terror”. As part of the policy, the Xinjiang Internment camps, officially called vocational education and training centers that are used to indoctrinate Uyghers and other Muslims started to erect. Also starting from 2015, the Chinese government announced that every Uighur in Xinjiang must have their health checked, mainly their blood tested. By 2017, the internment camps became operational.

The camps have been criticized by the governments of many countries and human rights organizations for alleged human rights abuses, including mistreatment, rape, and torture, with some of them alleging genocide.

These camps constitute the largest-scale arbitrary detention of ethnic and religious minorities since World War II. As of 2020, it was estimated that 1 to 3 million people, mostly Uyghurs, had been detained in these secretive camps throughout the region.

Ethan Gutmann interviewed 10 people who were from these camps.

Ethan Gutmann: What I can do is try to interview people who’d been inside the camps. What did you see? And I asked them who went missing? Who left the camp? And they said, well, sometimes some, occasionally an old person would leave the camp because they got sick.

And I’m like, okay. And they’d say, but there was a definite group who left the camp and they were usually about 18 years old. And I said, tell me about that. And they said, well, this is young, this is very young people. They’re about 18 and maybe girls, right. And young women. And they would, would’ve be announced at lunch, usually that they were graduating. This is the term they used ‘graduating,’ which meant that they were going to work in a factory out east, in Eastern China.

Yeah. They were not gonna come back. They wouldn’t see their families again. They were just gonna go and work in some factory. Or sometimes they were going to work in a cotton plantation, essentially a place where they pick cotton and grow cotton in Xinjiang; sometimes they were going in Xinjiang. A lot of times out east, whatever. They would announce this. And it was almost like an award.

It was like people were sometimes they even encouraged you to applaud a little bit for these young women who were going away. Well, that was done very openly, but there was one other group. They all said, well, there’s this other group. And this is about, I’m talking about 10 witnesses, which doesn’t seem like much, but we only have 10 witnesses over here in the West. So these are 10 in Kazakhstan.

So I’m doubling the witnesses essentially, which is not easy. And they, what’s the other group? Well, they said, well, these other people would disappear in the middle of the night. I said, well, what were the circumstances that? Well, they say, well, we don’t really know. We except that they, we were all given a blood test. I said, when did you give them the blood test? And you know about a week before. So they’re given this blood test. And then a week later, three or four people, whatever they remember, would leave in the middle, would just be gone the next day. What was their age? 28.

Their age was 28. Usually sometimes 29. Sometimes it was 30 or sometimes 26 or 27. But it was always right around the age of 28. Now 28 is the magic number. It’s when the Chinese prefer to, the Chinese doctors prefer to harvest organs because their organs are completely mature. But your, your health is perfect. It’s as good as it will ever be. And I asked one woman, I said, well, okay, they were given these blood tests and then they were somehow selected. Some people even described them, the people who ended up being gone, were given vests, like a colored vest, pink or orange, some. One case they had described them giving a little bracelet. They didn’t know what it meant, but then they were gone.

You weren’t supposed to talk about them or mention them ever again. One woman was a teacher and she describes how she was a Chinese teacher. So she sort of worked for the camp but she was treated pretty badly too, and because she was Kazakh. And she, they had a kind of faculty lounge, you know, a place where they could kind of hang out a little bit, and they put up the results from the blood tests. And then they put check marks, pink check marks by the blood, certain names. And those people disappeared.

Now I was concerned about this, but I wanted to check out that there wasn’t something else going on. So I asked, this Uighur woman. I said, look, uh, I said, this is an embarrassing question. I’m sorry to ask it. But these three friends of yours or these three people, you knew, these three women who disappeared in the middle of the night, t I said, were they beautiful?

Were they good looking? Were they sexually attractive? And she came back and said, I don’t like to say this about anybody, but no, they were not beautiful. I said, well what do they have in common if anything? And she said they were healthy.

So this is where it ends. I mean, this is about organs. These are people going off to their death. And if you put the figures together, they’re incredibly consistent from camp to camp. Everybody I interviewed was from a different camp. Every single person. And every one of them described disappearances. And some said it was 2.5% of the entire camp that disappeared in the middle of the night. Some said it was 5%. Some said it was 10% but only one or two. Some said it was like 1%. But everybody describes that figures are very, very close. 2.5 to 5%.

In other words, 25,000 people or 50,000 people are being taken from the camps for organ harvesting every year, 25 to 50,000 people. That’s probably in the middle, there are 32,000, something like that. Now there’s another way of looking at that figure. Let’s look at it in terms of organs for a minute. Let’s say you can take two organs from each person that you can use. That would be 50,000 organs, right? Let’s say you can take, um, let’s say it’s the higher figure, 50,000. And you can take three organs. It’s 150,000 organs. So if China is doing a hundred thousand organ transplants a year, you can see how this can pretty much fill the gap completely, very easily. Right? It’s not a problem.

Simone: They don’t like to waste organs, I mean…

Ethan Gutmann: Well…

Simone: One person’s organ can maybe like…

Ethan Gutmann: You know, it’s funny, you mentioned that because it’s something we’ve argued about – me and Kilgour and Matas – many times – they used to say, oh well you can only take one organ per person. And I’m like, why? Chinese don’t like to waste things. I’m always making that point. And I said, this is a very, it’s a very practical culture. And that’s something I actually find very admirable and appealing about Chinese culture is it’s a culture where you don’t waste, you figure out ways to use things.

And I think what you’re saying is right. However, the logistics of getting, let’s say I have all these perfect organs, and the logistics of getting my organs to all these different people is somewhat complicated. So it could even be less. I mean it could well be the smaller figure, only 25,000 a year, but I will not go below that figure. I would not. I would be misrepresenting the witnesses to go below that figure. This is what they told me. They had no reason to, they didn’t, most of them didn’t even know they were talking about organ harvesting.

I would often tell them after the interview. This is what, why I was asking those particular questions, but I did not lead them on. And I was not interested in people making up exaggerated numbers for me. I had no interest in that at all. And what struck me again, and one of the reasons why I was so relaxed when I was asking the questions, was because at this point I’m very used to it. Everybody says the same thing.

Okay. So to me, there’s no real question in my mind. There’s one last data point. One last piece of evidence that I think I find personally compelling. There are others, but picture a hospital out in a place called Aksu. And this hospital was built for SARS patients back in 2000 or 2001, 2002. This hospital was converted to a hospital for religious dissidents, that is probably extreme Muslims or something.

And then it becomes, it’s renamed again, it’s called the Aksu Infection Hospital and it does transplants. And I know this because … I’m sorry, Gulchehra Hoja of Radio Free Asia actually, called them up and checked in on this and they do do transplants. Okay.

So here’s this transplant hospital. Imagine that they build a labor camp or prison camp for 33,000 people around it. That’s what they did. So it’s facing the road, but around it is 33,000 people, around this hospital. Picture then 900 meters away, less than a kilometer away, is another camp with 16,000 people.

Then to the north is a crematorium. It’s the largest crematorium I’ve ever seen on earth in Google earth. I’ve looked at others. It’s four or five times the usual size. It’s quite extraordinary. It was recently repainted. I’ve talked to people who worked in that area. They all described the smell of burning bone. They all knew it was a crematorium. And it’s not a secret. 20 minutes from that, 20 minute drive, is an airport, Aksu airport. And this has a green lane, which literally says ‘human organ transplant lane’, ‘fast lane’.

It’s a fast lane. Yes, absolutely marked. It has arrows. They’re on the floor and they’re, it’s marked above, ‘human organ transplant lane’. It’s in three different languages.

This is, it’s export only. It’s not to bring organs into Aksu. It’s to take organs out of Aksu. Well, after some, we did some research on that and had a very good researcher who knew, knew about the Chinese medical system. And she found out that hospital, Aksu Infection Hospital, has a big brother hospital on the east coast of China or near the east coast, near Shanghai. And First Hospital has their, in 2017, their kidney transplants went up by a hundred percent and their liver transplants went up by 200%.

This is huge increases. And they were the first hospital, in 2020, in March 2020, when the pandemic was a full swing, they announced that they had done the first double lung transplant of a COVID patient in history. And this was announced not only in Chinese, but in English.

Simone: Oh, I know that hospital. Do you know the name of it?

Ethan Gutmamnn: It’s First Hospital. There’s also another one, which was Wuxi Hospital, which the same day came out and did the same thing. That was under Dr. Chen. Chen Lin or whatever. Cheong Lynn is a very famous guy. He’s very competitive guy. He came out with the same thing on the same day. First Hospital still claims to be first. Yeah, that’s right. I’m sorry, Chen Jingyu.

Yeah. So he, yeah, Chen Jingyu. He’s also the one who created the, the fast lines. He created the green lanes,, the fast lanes in the airport that came from him because he was very upset when China Southern Airlines airplane took off and he was holding organs in organs and boxes that he was going to transplant. The organs died, you know, essentially ran out of time.

Simone: Where did you get that story?

Ethan Gutmann: I don’t know. I don’t know where I read it, but it’s, I mean, it’s just out there. I think he even interviewed and talked about it a long time and said, this is how we ended up with getting these fast lanes. You know, this was a, so he’s a very powerful guy, China Southern airlines said, oh, we’ll do something special. And they even have an ad with banners and green banners. And yeah.

So the point is that, we can, looking at that, we can say, you know, as much as we had a tremendous amount of information about Falun Gong organ harvesting, we’ve never actually had something quite like this before. Where it’s all in the same spot and you can sort of see it physically how this evolves and how it moves. And that is partly because there aren’t that many differences between Falun Gong organ harvesting and Uiguhr organ harvesting.

It is really very the same program. There’s a lot of consistency. And the one big difference is that they have put it into a discrete area. Xinjiang. An area where no one can go. Journalists cannot go there. Politicians don’t go there. Look at the UN, right.

Michelle Bachelet was just there and she wouldn’t go, actually go into Xinjiang. No one could look at it. And because of that, we have this … that means that the World Health Organization or the Transplantation Society can pretend, if they want to, that nothing’s going on. They’ll even say that; they’ll even say, well, I visited some hospitals in China. It’s like, what does that have to do with it? East coast hospitals, aren’t doing, aren’t cutting people open anymore. They’re just receiving organs and transplanting them. That’s not the same thing.

Simone: What’s the difference between the Falun Gong era and the Uighur era in terms of transplanting?

Ethan Gutmann: Really just what I’ve, the difference between the Falun Gong era and the Uighur era is, is simply one of, kind of locational. And… one of the reasons that can happen is because we have this system, ECMO, which can keep organs alive, even in a dead body at times. It oxygenates the organs. It keeps them going and you can use it for live organ harvesting, and you can do it with a dead patient to where you can keep a kidney, for example, alive. You can, if a doctor wants to – it’s the middle of the night and you’re gonna transplant this kidney, but you’re all tired.

A doctor can just say, you know what, we’re all going home for the night, get some sleep, come back in the morning. You know, and eight hours later, they start up again and they take the organ out and transplant it.

Simone: From the dead person’s body.

Ethan Gutmann: Yes. And that’s because of ECMO because it’s keeping this oxygenation is essentially keeping the organ alive, almost like a flower and water. Okay. The flower is still alive. It hasn’t wilted. And if you were to put it back in the ground, somehow with new roots, it would grow again as if nothing had ever happened.

Simone: In terms of the number of transplants what’s the difference? Which one is bigger?

Ethan Gutmann: I think they’re, I think it’s almost exactly the same. This is one of the strangest questions I get is that, you know, every group assumes that it’s gotta be bigger or smaller. But it isn’t because China has reached its peak. It’s reached where it wants to be in terms of…

Simone: What do you mean, reach what peak?

Ethan Gutmann: Well, it’s reached the point where it’s got the customers. It’s not an industry I see that’s building anymore. It’s mature. What we call a mature industry. And it became a mature industry really under Falun Gong. We know that the curve with Falun Gong was almost like this. In other words, it went up and then it leveled. Okay.

So by the time we put out a report in 2016, it was a level curve. It wasn’t going up. We never claimed it was. It was clearly like this. And then what happened when the Uighurs came in, is maybe you got a little jump or something, but not much of one. And then it hits level because China is where it wants to be with this. I believe that many people in the Chinese medical system would love to stop doing organ harvesting.

And many of them would like for China to make its money from the industry that always should have made its money from which was pharmaceuticals. This is the pillar industry. This is China’s destiny. Its future is to make great medicines. Right.

And, and try them out on their poor people. But, you know, whatever. But, you know, I mean, seriously, I don’t mean it that way, but I, I do mean that that is, it’s an inventive medical culture. Maybe they take a little too many risks sometimes. We’ve just seen that with COVID that hasn’t been so great for the world. I think they took too many risks.

I think it probably did get out of a lab, but I don’t know for sure. But what I would say is that, you know, at the same time, there’s a certain genius within the Chinese medical culture, which is not being realized by organ harvesting. Organ harvesting is holding the entire country back, their future…

The future lies in pharmaceuticals and to sell pharmaceuticals globally. That’s where the profits are. You must have the confidence of the populations in the world. And nobody has confidence in Sinovac in the Chinese vaccine that they came up with. Nobody has confidence in a medical system that would butcher its own people. Nobody will ever have confidence that the transplant game is anything but a dirty filthy business, because that’s what it is.

And that’s why they will never get the voluntary donations that they talk about. Because the ordinary person knows that it’s a dirty business. And if they’re gonna give up their organs, they ought to be paid a hell of a lot of money for it because they know those surgeons are making a hell of a lot of dirty filthy money. That is the problem here.

This is a dead end for everybody. But so it’s beyond just the simple tragedy – it’s beyond the tragedy of those lives lost. It is beyond that. It is a tragedy for Chinese culture. It’s a tragedy for Chinese science. Okay. And it’s a cancer in the world.

Simone: So although not many people in the world are talking about this forced organ harvesting, but the trust in China’s medical system is gone.

Ethan Gutmann: I think it’s gone. I don’t know. I mean, anything could be rebuilt; but the terrifying thing to me is that you have Western doctors who want to rebuild trust in China’s medical system before they have even reformed it. Okay. Just because they say a few nice things about reform, and that even if they were to reform it, that they wanna do it without ANY accountability to the hundreds of thousands of Falun Gong and now at least a hundred thousand Uiguhrs, at least that have gone under the knife in this country.

And they want to do it without any accountability, without any talking, without any victim restitution, without any attempt to regain that DNA, or match it, which is actually quite doable. You could match these things. This was something that was impossible during the Holocaust. We didn’t have the technology to do it. People just disappeared. They were gassed. They were gone. This isn’t true today. Evidence is there.

Simone: That’s, I mean, you have all this evidence, that from the Falun Gong era to the Uighur era, things really didn’t change in China.

Ethan Gutmann: No.

Simone: And…

Ethan Gutmann: It’s not even an era. It’s not like the two eras have gone. I mean, that’s another thing I’d like to add the, you know, I didn’t have time to say this in the conference yesterday, but the point is that’s because we were under such a short amount of time, but the fact is two of my witnesses in Kazakhstan said they saw Falun Gong in their camps.

Simone: They moved Falun Gong practitioners to Xinjiang. What percentage?

Ethan Gutmann: Yeah, it was, it was just a couple, I mean, it wasn’t a lot of people, but it was a few,. But both, the two of them mentioned it. I mean, so that’s 10% of my witnesses right there. Okay. And we’re saying…

Simone: Two from two different camps?

Ethan Gutmann: Yes. Two from two different camps. And I said, what happened to them? They didn’t know. They just weren’t, they weren’t, particularly – I mean, people aren’t aware of everything going on in their camp.

Simone: Do you think the Chinese Communist Party, the Chinese current regime, will exhaust the Uiguhr population for transplant and possibly move on to another ethnic group or other group of people?

Ethan Gutmann: That’s a really good question. And I actually, haven’t tried to calculate it, but I will. Okay. I’ll try to figure that out.

Simone: Because I mean, for Falun Gong, the age and stuff, that’s a different scenario with the Uighurs.

Ethan Gutmann: Yes, it is. Yeah.

Simone: But with Uighurs they try to not let them reproduce, right? They want to…

Ethan Gutmann: Yeah. There’s a basic attempt to sterilize the women. Okay, so that’s a difference. This is an interesting point you just hit, because, you know, there were times when I’ve looked at the Uighur population and said, well, this is very different than Falun Gong because it’s more of an economic enterprise. Falun Gong it was a, you know…

It was, they considered a direct threat to the Chinese state. The Uiguhr, the business, oh, well, they’re a direct threat to the Chinese state. It’s kind of an exaggeration. It’s kind of make believe. It’s like, well, they’re terrorists. So they’re potentially this great threat, but they aren’t. They aren’t a great threat. So in fact, I would say that’s a huge difference.

In a sense, Falun Gong really was a threat to the Chinese state because it was a different, had a different vision of China. The Uighurs don’t offer that they offer a vision of a maybe their own state, you know, independent of China. That’s not the same thing. So that difference is significant. But it’s also significant that the Uighurs were an economic enterprise. They have become that. They’re forced labor. They’re used as slave labor.

Now, Falun Gong were also used for slave labor, but it was the petty things. It was the usual things they do in labor camps, where they make you do all kinds of stupid work. This is much more systematic. It’s like, you’re gonna pick all the cotton. You’re going to work at the factories, certain factories for Western companies at really dirty jobs that are very dangerous, and you’re gonna live in a completely different dorm, and there’s gonna be guns there.

And you’re not gonna mate an all this stuff. The interesting thing is you go back to the old south in America, the plantation system, and, you know, the plantation owner was happy, okay, if the slaves were mating. Because it was like growing your population. It was like growing your resources. It’s like getting a new car. Okay.

And maybe it was, you know, you had to take care of that car, but it was like getting another car. And it’s resources. And the truth is the Chinese, I think, and this is what really does make it racial in a way, that they really don’t want that. I believe they’re almost torn between this instinct to just wipe these people out. I mean by Chinese standards, you know, 20 million people or 13 million people is not that many people. It’s very small population, they’re deemed to be troublesome. So be it.

On the other hand, maybe they, you know, the Uighurs have proved themselves to be sort of valuable in this forced labor area.

The problem we have in organ harvesting in particular is that any human being, really most human beings are not worth half a million dollars. But on the open market, these organs being sold to foreign organ tourists are worth at least half a million dollars. So the equation doesn’t work well anymore. They’re worth more dead than alive.

And I do believe that’s going to continue for a long time. But your question about how long and how much excess their population there is, is a really good one and something I’ll put in my mind to try to solve if possible.

An Industry of Genocide: Why China’s Organ Harvesting Can’t Be Stopped? A Chat with Ethan Gutmann

Simone: China declared that it had stopped using prisoners’ organs for transplantation, and it solely depends on organ donations. But there is a problem.

Ethan Gutmann: So they started showing these voluntary donation numbers and the curve was perfect. And they very quickly came up with the fact that this curve was based on an equation.

Simone: The transplant industry exploded in China at the same rate as the explosion of Falun Gong flowing into jails and labor camps. They, and later the Uighurs, experienced the same bizarre routine.

Ethan Gutmann: So they’re given this blood test. And then a week later, three or four people, whatever they remember, would leave in the middle, would just be gone the next day. What was their age? 28.

Simone: Reports on systematic organ harvesting from Falun Gong prisoners first emerged in 2006. 16 years later, this practice is still going on. The victims have expanded from Falun Gong to the Uighurs. Why couldn’t it be stopped?

And who could be the next victims? I spoke with Ethan Gutmann, a pioneer researcher in this field and the author of the book “The Slaughter: Mass Killings, Organ Harvesting, and China’s Secret Solution to Its Dissident Problem”.

Simone: On March 17, 2006, Annie, a woman who used to work at the Liaoning Thrombosis Hospital of Integrated Chinese and Western Medicine in Sujiatun District, Shenyang disclosed to The Epoch Times that her hospital secretly detained a large number of Falun Gong practitioners.

Her ex-husband was involved in the surgery to remove organs from living Falun Gong practitioners. Since then, a large number of independent investigators have investigated the matter and have confirmed that the Chinese government has been conducting state-sanctioned, systematic forced organ harvesting from living prisoners of conscience, mainly Falun Gong practitioners, for organ transplantation. Ethan Gutmann is one of those investigators.

The Chinese government has always denied harvesting organs from prisoners of conscience or death row prisoners. However, after the revelation of the organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners, the Chinese Minister of Health, Huang Jiefu, suddenly admitted that most of the organs for organ transplants in China came from executed prisoners. His remarks are widely seen as an attempt to cover up the greater crime of organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience.

China officially announced in 2015 that it would stop using organs from executed prisoners. But there is evidence that organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience and political prisoners has not stopped in China.

Simone: So Ethan, you said in your speech that there’s evidence that forced organ harvesting in China is still going on. Tell me about that again.

Ethan Gutmann: Well, it is a complex picture, like everything in organ harvesting; we’ve had to do it. We’ve had to learn new techniques every time because the Chinese communist party always learns. So for example, they came out and said in 2015, we are no longer harvesting prisoners for their organs.

Now, what they didn’t tell you was two things. They didn’t tell you that they had denied ever harvesting, Falun Gong or Tibetans or Uighurs, or house Christians for their organs. So they were just speaking of prisoners on death row; prisoners who were convicted to death.

And they’re saying, we’re not harvesting them anymore, but even then they were lying because in their own press, they were saying, oh, no, prisoners can still be harvested. As long as they fill out the right forms. That’s all; the only difference was what they were saying in English and what they were saying in Chinese.

And to this day, the World Health Organization and the Transplantation Society, choose to act like they actually said we’re no longer harvesting prisoners.

Simone: So they endorsed their statement.

Ethan Gutmann: Well, they said that statement in English, but in the Chinese, they said something completely different. And I can show you the references if you like, because they were all over the Chinese media. They very quickly tried to reassure everybody in the country that don’t worry. There won’t be any shortage in organs. Okay.

Leaving that aside. Let’s say the English part counted. Well, the problem was that we had been working with some Falun Gong practitioners for many years. Me, Kil ..when I say me, I mean, Kilgore, Matas, myself, had been working with some Falun Gong practitioners for many years who’d been working. Actually it was two groups who’d been trying to estimate, volume, transplant volume in China, and they had done almost a, it was almost a superhuman effort to come up with this stuff, but they had traced every hospital they could and said, okay, how many, how many organs are they harvesting a year?

These weren’t estimates. They had to actually say how many organs they were harvesting every year. But what we, what quickly what’s striking about it is that even just putting a couple of hospitals together, you came up to a figure of 10,000. Now 10,000 was the figure that the Chinese medical establishment had been claiming for almost 10 years. They’ve been saying we do 10,000 transplants a year. Okay.

So we could come up with that with just a few hospitals, but we certainly, but then we realized there were 163 hospitals which were authorized by the Chinese state to do transplants. And when we started going, you know, estimating other, looking at other hospitals, we came up to numbers that were quite spectacular. In fact, we very quickly came up with a figure of at least 50,000.

Then when you started adding in some of the hospitals, which had actually claimed they were doing, you know, 5,000 transplants a year, we were up to a number of 60,000 to a hundred thousand. In fact, truthfully the figure came out to about 120,000. I did those figures. And it was about 120,000 per year.

Now I know something about China having lived there. You know, when somebody catches a fish in China, they catch a fish. They describe it. The fish is this big. It’s not, it’s really about this big, okay. Okay. So people exaggerate by about 20, 25% in most cases. So I said, okay, let’s lower it to a hundred thousand, not 120,000, a hundred thousand. Some people have said 90,000 instead. I don’t really care. It’s, we’re talking, either way, we’re talking about a figure of 80,000, transplants per year, something like that.

That’s very different than 10,000. So there was something very wrong with the Chinese story. So if they were no longer accepting, organs from prisoners or harvesting organs from prisoners. How would they get them? Well, the Chinese got very busy and they did two things. First of all, they started to say, well, actually we’re doing more than 10,000 per year. We’re moving very quickly.

Now, now we’re doing about 20,000 per year. But they also showed the voluntary donations going up. So in other words, they were trying to match our numbers, see how this is working. Okay. This is like, when you catch somebody in a lie and they start going, well, you know, no, I didn’t do that. I mean, I did some of that, but not that, some of it, and don’t worry, it’s no longer, I’m not longer, I’m no longer doing it.

Right. So they started showing these voluntary donation numbers and the curve was perfect. It was going like this. Well, that made me very curious, but it also made Matt Robertson and Jacob Levy and a statistician, very curious. And they got together and did, an advanced statistical study.

And they very quickly came up with the fact that this curve was based on an equation, a simple equation. So in other words, it’s a parabolic curve. That’s based on an equation. The chances of real life of getting voluntary donations to go up in that form are impossible. Okay. They’re a million to one. It doesn’t happen in real life. Quadratic curves like that only occur in design. Right?

So they were obviously lying about the voluntary donation in China. And, you know, you have to say, well, if they’re lying about them, then why wouldn’t they just tell the truth?

If they had a successful voluntary donation campaign. But they didn’t. Right, so we had a problem. So right there, we knew that something was wrong, but I think a larger signal that I was particularly attuned to, because don’t forget, I had studied, done direct research on Uighurs being harvested years ago. Kilgour and Matas didn’t do that. Matt Robertson didn’t do that, nor did Jacob Levy.

I was the first person to go out and start interviewing Uiguhrs about the 1990s before Falun Gong was even being oppressed. And what I’d found was that some, first of all, that live organ harvesting had first taken place in Xinjiang, in Northwest China. That they tried it out there for the first time.

And we have a doctor who actually did that. Envor Tohti who actually was forced to do such an operation. The man who’d been shot; the body was in shock, but the man was not dead. In fact, as Envor Tohti has more recently said if he had worked, operated on that man, the man could have survived. He killed him on the operating table.

So that’s what happened. He took out a kidney and two kidneys and a liver and, and the man died; the man expired. And he was alive when he was making the operation; you know, because the blood was pulsing. That was in 1995. So we know for a fact that live organ harvesting was taking place in Xinjiang.

In 1997 there’s a demonstration in Ghulja, in Xinjiang. It was over Ramadan. They weren’t allowed to practice Ramadan. And some of the Uighurs came to this town hall to demonstrate, and the Chinese police shot a lot of them. And then they went on. There was a lot of them. They arrested them en masse and so forth.

But what we also know is that in Ürümqiin, in the capital, for the first time, they started doing blood tests of the prisoners, political prisoners.

That’s new. Up til now all of Chinese organ harvesting – and it’s not that big a program – has been taking place on, on prisoners, regular prisoners. People who’ve who’ve committed crimes; sometimes very serious crimes.

And who’ve been sentenced to death. Now, I don’t know if those sentences are correct or wrong, or, uh, you know, I’m not there with a clipboard, but I can tell you that. I’m sure a lot of those people, you know, a lot of those people were duly sentenced to death; some were murderers and so forth. This was different. These were political prisoners. These were people who put their fist in the air and said, Allah akbar.

And suddenly they’re getting blood tested. And then five or maybe six Chinese cadres arrived. Very high ranking Chinese Communist Party cadres came in, presumably from Beijing, flew into Ürümqiin, and a Uighur doctor whom I interviewed was told to go in and do the blood tests again on the prisoners.

And he said, well, why? And he said, because they need kidneys. They’re here to get kidneys from these prisoners. And he sort of, I guess, looked a little alarmed or something. And then his supervisor said, don’t worry. These are very bad people. These are very bad people, very bad people. This is for the state.

It’s a good thing for the state. So anyways, these high ranking Communist Party cadres got their kidneys . Then they left. And then a couple of months later, some more came in.

Simone: That was when?

Ethan Gutmann: Now that’s in 1997. So in 1999 …and then it sort of died off, and maybe it could have all ended there, but in 1999, China declares the crackdown on Falun Gong and declares, doesn’t even declare Falun Gong illegal, but just treats it as illegal. And by 2000 you start getting the first exams in prisons and detention centers throughout China.

And initially they were very, very scared about doing these exams. The interesting thing is in 2000, 2001. I’ve talked to many Falun Gong practitioners who experienced those exams. And often it was like one at a time. They’d go to these medical exams. There’d be a man with two armed police on both sides of them. So there was a very intense process. They were very worried about something happening.

In fact the practitioners themselves did not have any special insight as to why they were being examined. And most of them, organ harvesting did not occur to them at all.

Simone: Did they? This is in retrospect. They realize what well …

Ethan Gutmann: And now, now they were… not always. You know, one of the interesting things about persecution is that there’s a great tendency for denial. What we call denial. You know, one of the ways. Yes, for the victim, because often one of the ways you keep your spirits up or keep yourself kind of, okay, is you don’t think about the worst thing.

That’s the way some people handle it. Some people think always about the worst. Some people it’s better they don’t think about the worst. So they go, there’s no way they’d do that to me. Or that won’t happen. So for example, I did meet a woman who was one of the earliest cases who had clearly been examined for her organs. And she – this is in Australia – and she said, oh, they never would’ve harvested me. I’m too important. Okay.

Now, in fact, they were examining her for organs and maybe she just didn’t have a good match. Who knows; maybe she was right. I don’t think she was right. I think she was wrong, but who knows? The bottom line is to make a long story short here, the transplant industry exploded in China because at the same rate, as the explosion of Falun Gong into the, what we call the Laogai system of China, the prisons, the black jails, the mental hospitals, obviously labor camps…

And that explosion hits every province. Every province builds a transplant hospital. Everybody gets in on the act, the techniques improve. They start learning how to use lungs, hearts. These become common over time. So they’re experimenting with people and the waiting time for an organ very quickly goes from, you know, China traditionally had a waiting time for organs of a couple of months or something like that.

It’s suddenly two weeks or less. You know, that’s what people leave out. They say, oh, until two weeks. No, it was actually less In 2006, there are several cases of hospitals which did emergency liver transplants. That is somebody comes in with an, an acute liver crisis. Okay. They’re at the point of death.

And four hours later, they have a matching liver and it’s transplanted. And the person, the day after the person is magically rising from the hospital bed. And this is unbelievable stuff. It’s the stuff of science fiction.

And it was only made possible because there were so many Falun Gong in detention. And so many had been tested for their organs, that there was a stable of tissue types, a stable of cross matching, where you could select, you had all these possibilities and you could select from them and pull one out.

That was a perfect or close to perfect match for whoever had a problem. And you could do it that fast. So this is, this is an astounding, point even in 2006. So by 2015, what’s changed? Well the year before 2015 there’s some evidence that they were starting to run out of Falun Gong or at least young Falun Gong practitioners.

Up til then they had been harvesting Falung Gong and mainly young Falun Gong. We’ve seen the records on this. Now they’re not recorded as Falun Gong, but it’s very clear. They say 28 year old male dies of heart failure.

Okay. And I really wanna make sure your camera catches this. 28 year old dies of heart failure. What are the chances? Do you know anyone? Have you heard of anyone in your life who has died of heart failure at age 28?

Do you have a friend or a friend of a friend who’s died of heart failure at age 28? This is nearly impossible. Okay. And that is one of the reasons that 28 year-olds are so valuable for organs. But Falun Gong is aging at this point. A lot of Falun Gong …. Some Falun Gong had left China. Some very dedicated people had been killed and a lot of people had gotten older.

So at that point in nine provinces, in 2014, the police start showing up in Falun Gong homes and opening the door and saying, you’re doing a blood test. Police doing this. And they do a cheek swab, a DNA cheek, swab. The combination of DNA and blood leads you to a perfect organ match. It’s the best possible match you can get.

Simone: Are you talking about, they go to, they went to Falun Gong homes to test Falun Gong practitioners?

Ethan Gutmann: Yes. Falun Gong homes to/for Falun Gong practitioners. These are people who are not in prison. They’re not in jail. They’re not in – they’re just Falun Gong at this point. Maybe they’ve been in the head brush with the law before. Maybe they’ve had a little trouble before, but at this point, they’re just at home. The significance of that…

At first, when I heard about this story, this came out in Minghui. And when I first heard about it, I said, this is a scare tactic. They’re just trying to scare people. They can’t really be doing this. But I was wrong. They were. They were trying to select. to see if they could get them from their homes. They’re looking for young people.

Simone: Do you have evidence that people who were tested at home, forced tested at home, were taken away?

Ethan Gutmann: Well, we know we do have some evidence that a lot of them were arrested later on pretext. So we don’t know about did they, were, they just grabbed from their homes and take it away? Probably not. That’s not the way that … that’s not the way the CCP works.

They tend to not want to do things that way. They’ll sort of say you’re being arrested for this and that. And then, then you just disappear into that system. Now, as Matas has pointed out, and a lot of practitioners have pointed out too, Falun Gong were extremely vulnerable of across us because they were not giving their names in many cases, and not even saying which province they were from.

So that meant that their families couldn’t really advocate for them. And of course they were trying to protect their families from damage. Similar situation arises with the Uighurs.

But we’ll get into that briefly. The bottom line is that what this tells us that about 2014, they’re running out; they’re, they’re going low on this. Uh, and what happens in 2015? There’s an announcement that every Uighur in Xinjiang has to be health checked, given a health check.

Every Uighur above the age of 12 must some mandatory health check. People formed long lines all over in bizaars and in shopping centers and all kinds of places, school houses, and were given health checks. These were basically blood tests and other brief tests. But the main thing was the blood test. What they’re trying to do is map out the population. Han Chinese half of Xinjiang, as you know, is Han Chinese.

They didn’t have to take any tests. There was no mandatory health check for them at all. Okay. So this was Uighurs and I believe Kazakhs, I’m not even sure about Hui… Yeah. Hui too, at that time, I’m not even sure they were sort of, they were always in between. Okay. They’re giving that test. That’s 2015. By 2016, the camps have begun. And the tests are done. That’s when, you know, these people start pouring into these camps. Okay.

Simone: So 2015, they had the test. In 2016, they built the camps and they put those, people who had been tested to the camps.

Ethan Gutmann: Right. And the interesting thing of course is that the camps did, were featuring mainly young …. They were going after young people and middle aged people, they weren’t going that much after…

Simone: Not like every single one who has been tested is, is put into camp.

Ethan Gutmann: No, no, because older people are pretty much exempt from all this. In a sense, you can say whatever’s happening to older people is sort of for show. We don’t tend to think of them as great candidates for organs. You can use elderly organs, but I wouldn’t. Why would you trade an old, you know, if I needed an organ, why would I trade it for another old organ?

I mean that doesn’t make a lot of sense. The point is this … when we look at the camps and what happened to Uighur villages, for example, they became places – and many people have described this who’ve been through them – with nothing but little kids and old women. Sometimes elderly men. So it’s like elderly people and little kids and all the rest of the people are gone.

There are no young people. Okay. There’s I mean, any adolescents were in there – you know, all the way from 15 up and people of 45 were in there. The rest is just left behind.

Now, what we know at this point is that 2017, the camps are fully constructed and we probably have, and it’s very hard to make these estimates, but based on what we see from satellite technology, it’s probably at least 2 million in the camps at that point. It’s an extraordinary number.

Now I tend to use the figure 1 million, because it’s a conservative figure. It’s simple to defend. I think everybody can accept that at least 1 million people are in the camps. Even now, 1 million people in the camps. And what I did, and this is, I think, the important point I bring in here, is that I went to Kazakhstan because…

I only was interested in talking to people who’d actually been inside the camps. I wasn’t interested in family members. That’s not that I wasn’t interested, but they weren’t helpful to me. Stories about people who they … you know, my mother’s in the camp.

I mean, I can’t help with this. There’s nothing I can do. What I can do is try to interview people who’d been inside the camps. What did you see? And I asked them who went missing? Who left the camp? And they said, well, sometimes some, occasionally an old person would leave the camp because they got sick.

And I’m like, okay. And they’d say, but there was a definite group who left the camp and they were usually about 18 years old. And I said, tell me about that. And they said, well, this is young. This is very young people. Uh they’re they’re about 18 and, and maybe girls, right. And young women.

And they would, would’ve be announced at lunch, usually that they were graduating. This is the term they used ‘graduating,’ which meant that they were going to work in a factory out east, in Eastern China.

Yeah. They were not gonna come back. They wouldn’t see their families again. They were just gonna go and work in some factory. Or sometimes they were going to work in a cotton plantation, essentially a place where they pick cotton and grow cotton in Xinjiang; sometimes they were going in Xinjiang.

A lot of times out east, whatever. They would announce this. And it was almost like an award. It was like people were sometimes they even encouraged you to applaud a little bit for these young women who were going away. Well, that was done very openly but there was one other group.

They all said, well, there’s this other group. And this is about, um, talking about 10 witnesses, which doesn’t seem like much, but we only have 10 witnesses over here in the west. So these are 10 in Kazakhstan.

So I’m doubling the witnesses essentially, which is not easy. And they what’s the other group? Well, they said, well, these other people would disappear in the middle of the night. I said, well, what were the circumstances that?

Well, they say, well, we don’t really know. We except that they, we were all given a blood test. I said, when did you give them the blood test? And you know about a week before. So they’re given this blood test. And then a week later, three or four people, whatever they remember, would leave in the middle, would just be gone the next day. What was their age? 28.

In-depth | Military and Xinjiang behind China’s Solar Industry

Joe Biden: We are going to invest $1.7 trillion dollars in securing our future, so by 2050 America will be a 100% clean energy economy.

Simone: President Biden announced a ‘New Green Deal’ and issued restrictions on fossil fuel supplies. This will make America more dependent on solar energy, but companies from which country will supply those solar panels?

Keith Krach: China, Inc. controls 80-90% of the market.

Simone: And who is funding China’s renewable energy industry?

Tianliang Zhang: So this company is not a private enterprise but an institution controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.

Simone: So what implications does a Chinese Communist Party-controlled solar industry mean to America’s energy independence and national security?

Keith Krach: That means we lose our energy independence. That also means we will be totally dependent on China for our clean energy. And if we do nothing, it is scary.

Simone: Hello and welcome to Zooming In China. I am Simone Gao. A consortium of renewable energy CEOs have asked President Joe Biden to remove tariffs that the Trump administration had issued on imported solar panels. They argue that the tariffs are an obstacle to the renewables industry’s ability to tackle climate change.

On March 1st, The Biden administration decided to stand behind Trump’s policy. The new administration asked the court to dismiss a complaint from some members of the solar industry arguing that President Trump’s tariffs were unlawful.

However, the bigger question is where the ‘New Green Deal’ policy of the new administration will lead America to? How will it affect America’s energy independence, and if America becomes less energy independent, who will America rely on more for solar energy? And what will be the consequence of that? In this episode of Zooming In China, we will try to explore these questions.

The current tariff imposes a 18% tax on solar cells made outside of the United States, most of which are imported from China. Those cells are assembled into panels and sold by many American companies.

Biden has announced ambitious goals for curbing global warming. In his first few days in office, the president canceled the Keystone XL pipeline, rejoined the Paris Accord, and called for a 2 trillion dollar ‘New Green Deal.’

Solar energy will play a huge role in this initiative. It already accounts for more than 12% of all renewable energy in the United States, and is expected to account for one-half of all green energy by 2050.

But there’s a catch. The global supply chain for solar panels is dominated by Chinese firms, and most of the solar panels sold in this country use imported components. This poses a strategic risk for the United States if it becomes too dependent on its rival for energy.

First let’s look at how China obtained its quasi-monopoly of the world’s solar energy industry in the first place. How did a country known for its lax environmental regulations and pollution become such a key player in renewable energy?

China’s solar energy industry originated in the 1990s as an exports-oriented industry, designed to meet the demands of European countries. Countries like Germany and Italy had passed legislation to encourage the use of solar energy, and domestic manufacturers couldn’t keep up. This was instead outsourced to Chinese suppliers.

Since then the industry has grown precipitously, and China has become the undisputed world leader in solar technology. Longi Technology is the largest solar company in the world, and is responsible for manufacturing 25% of all silicon wafers across the globe.

But Longi isn’t alone. Collectively, the Chinese solar industry accounts for at least 60% of global capacity in every stage of the supply chain, producing more than 66% of polysilicon and nearly 80% of solar cells.

On the other hand, companies from across the world wanted to enter this field as renewable energy was becoming more lucrative. But it’s difficult to survive in this industry. Since 2011, more than 750 solar companies have liquidated or closed, most notably Solyndra, which was backed by the Obama administration. In 2020, the Trump administration was still recovering parts of a $425 million loan that had been granted to a solar company during the Obama years.

The failed project, called Crescent Dunes, used thousands of mirrors in the Nevada desert to heat up steam in a giant tower, and had cost more than $1.1 billion in total.

The solar industry is an inherently risky enterprise that requires enormous investments across many years, as productions aren’t cost-efficient until the project reaches a large scale. Rapid technological changes means that hundreds of millions can go up in smoke as yesterday’s innovation becomes obsolete.

That said, how did the Chinese companies manage to outperform their competitors globally? I asked former undersecretary of State for the Trump administration Keith Krach this question. Mr. Krach was responsible for economic growth, energy and environment during the last administration.

Simone:Thank you Mr. Krach for being with us today. It seems that Solar cell manufacturing is not an easy business, most of the startups don’t make it, there is a constant flux of companies going out of business. What is the biggest reason for that?

Keith Krach: 250 firms that entered the PV industry globally and 150 exited. The bloodletting is worse for second- and third-generation technologies like thin film. 27 of 34 start-ups went belly up.

The reason is simple. China Inc has come to dominate solar cell manufacturing through a 20 year set of systematic non-market state policies, subsidies, slave labor, state financing, IP theft, with unlimited amounts of “capital” thanks to government policy and buying up companies weakened by this strategy.

Free countries companies operate according to free market principles. Chinese state-led companies don’t. There is not a level playing field.

Simone: China’s domination in the renewable energy market presents another problem for the U.S.. Given the difficulty in manufacturing effective solar technology. If a nation loses its competitive edge in the field, it may lose it forever. An illustration example is the story of America’s decline in telecommunications technology.

In 2019, Trump banned US companies from using communication technology that posed a ‘national security risk,’ which included 5G networks produced by the Chinese tech giant Huawei.

The FBI and intelligence agencies warn that the company had ties to the Chinese Communist Party and their products could serve to spy on their customers.

After the ban, US companies shifted their reliance on European companies like Nokia, based in Finland. The row over Huawei raised an embarrassing question, why couldn’t the US produce its own 5G network?

In the second half of the 20th century, the United States was a leader in telecommunication technology, and in 1999 Lucent was the sixth largest US company in market capitalization.

In the 1980s and 1990s China’s IT industry was still primitive and was reliant on imported technology. However, state regulators required foreign companies to share their trade secrets with local firms if they wanted access to the Chinese market, and companies like Lucent agreed to sharing.

At the time, they didn’t see the Chinese IT industry as a threat, but starting in 2002 Huawei and others started to muscle their way into the US market while Lucent still struggled to gain an even footing after the dot-com bubble burst.

US telecom equipment imports rose from $71 to $129 billion between 2000 and 2008, while Chinese exports rose from $19 to $124 billion around the same timeframe. By then, Lucent had been sold to a French company, and Nortel, which was once Lucent’s biggest American rival, had gone bankrupt.

There are some industries that can’t be conjured up overnight, and a year and a half after Trump’s ban on Huawei, there’s no end in near sight for America’s reliance on imported 5G equipment.

What has happened to America’s telecom companies could also happen to its solar industry. It’s arguably already halfway there.

While solar cells might not pose the same cybersecurity risks as 5G networks, there remains the threat that China might choose to embargo the United States over a diplomatic dispute.

Samantha Sloan, vice president of First Solar said this to Politico in an interview: “Solar panels are the next crude oil, and allowing China to dominate solar manufacturing is the equivalent of establishing an electro-state on the lines of OPEC.” In 1973, an OPEC oil embargo caused oil prices in America to quadruple, which led to a severe recession. I asked Mr. Krach what it means if China dominated the solar energy industry
Simone: China is on track to gain a monopoly on manufacturing solar panel cells. Do you think in the future there is a possibility that the U.S. will be dependent on Chinese solar energy and supplies? and if that happens what it will mean to America?

Keith Krach: They are already a monopoly. China Inc controls 90% of the market. All top 10 companies are Chinese except First Solar in US with 2 % and a Korea 5% Chinese manufacturers have diversified some production within Asia to avoid tariffs, but Chinese factories still produce 60 percent of the world’s PV cells

Here is what it means. According to Some experts solar could account for 70% of our energy needs by 2050. That means we go from energy independence to being totally dependent on china for the majority of our clean energy. And that’s scary.
Simone: right, you just said the U.S. still has a tiny industry that produces solar energy component, do you think they can effectively compete with Chinese manufacturers in the coming years?
Keith Krach: There are 3 big problems with status quo.
A. Makes more expensive to finance. China’s Inc.’s subsidies, whether flowing or serving as backstop, will make an investor seek a higher return as compensation.

B. Stifles innovation. Given the climate challenge. PV is too important a technology to fail. There is a real chance that the industry’s system of innovation will not be able to meet the challenge. PV solar appears to function much more as a barrier than a bridge for next -generation technologies to gain a foothold to establish their own experience curves.

C. China Inc strategically owns the beginning of the supply chain particularly polysilicon and the vast majority of it is produced in Xingjiang.

Simone: Talking about Xinjiang, Its official name is Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China. It is the largest province-level division of the country and is home to a number of ethnic minority groups. Reports from the World Uyghur Congress submitted to the UN in 2018 suggest that 1 million Uyghurs are currently being held in the re-education camps. Officials from both the Trump and Biden administration have declared that genocide has been happening in Xinjiang. So where is Xinjiang in China’s green energy production landscape? And who is really running China’s green industry?
Today, when we talk about China’s renewable energy industry, we can not skip the Golden Concord Holdings Limited, or GCL Group. A conglomerate that specializes in renewable energy, GCL Group ranked number 3 in a 2017 list of top 500 global new energy enterprises.

On the surface, GCL is a privately owned company, but it actually has deep ties with the Chinese Communist Party and the People’s Liberation Army.
On its website, it says “Dating from 1990, GCL has been following the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party or CCP and leading green growth with the red genes.” In the organization, there are 12 CCP committees, 5 CCP branch committees, 120 CCP divisions and 3,000 CCP members.

Zhu Gongshan, Chairman of the company, also serves as a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, a central part of the Party’s United Front system.

In 2011, by partnering with the Poly Group, GCL-Poly became the world’s largest polysilicon manufacturer. The Xinjiang base is its new production center, and is planned to have an annual output of 100,000 tons of high-purity polysilicon, the largest in the country. By October 2019, it already had a 60,000-ton polysilicon production capacity. The cost of producing Polysilicon in that facility fell below 40,000 yuan, or around $6,000 dollars, per ton.

Simone: How did the cost of Xinjiang’s polysilicon production drop so much? China expert, Dr. Zhang Tianliang told me this.

Tianliang Zhang: There are two reasons why Xinjiang has become a manufacturing base. We know this industry consumes a lot of energy. It may take three years for a solar panel to generate the energy that was consumed by its production. And Xinjiang Zhundong has the largest coal mine in China so far. Just this Zhundong coal mine contains 7% of the whole country’s coal reserves. It can also provide high Calorific Value coals by Open-pit coal mining. This can tremendously cut the production cost of solar panels.

Secondly, the labor cost in Xinjiang is also very low. The average salary may be just a half or a third of that in Shanghai. It is about $700 a month in Urumqi, the capital city of Xinjiang. Workers in the United States or Europe cannot compete.

Simone: This is what Mr. Krach think about Xinjiang’s facility.

Simone: Talking about Xinjiang, we know that Xinjiang has become the biggest manufacturing base for polysilicon. And there are many reason for that, but the two big reasons are, One, there happened to be a big coal mine near the facility so they get cheap coals to produce polysilicon. And two, Xinjiang’s labor is very cheap, we now know that Xinjiang’s cotton production uses concentration camp labors. We don’t know if that is the case with their polysilicon production as well. But do you think the world should be concerned about these factors?

Keith Krach: Well, you have your facts right Simone. And this is troubling for a number of reasons. I would turn the question around and ask what does this mean for freedom, human rights, and environmental protection. Consider that Xinjiang represents about 65% of China’s solar manufacturing capacity.
In 2016, only 9% of the world’s solar-grade polysilicon came from Xinjiang. But by 2020 it provided about 45% of the world’s supply. Media has reported about forced labor on a population of about 13 million Muslim minorities in Xinjiang, including ethnic Uighurs, Kazakhs, and others. Current Sec. of State Blinken reinforced Secretary Pompeo’s labeling the treatment of Uighurs as genocide.

We all want to take action on climate change. However, we must remain true to our values and stand up for human rights. Everyone likes cheap goods and services. Yet, there have been multiple times when free nations and consumers decided that the relative savings or corporate profit was outweighed by the cost to society. Consider the case of “blood diamonds.”

As Supreme Court Justice Brandeis noted, “sunlight is the best disinfectant.” The public will turn away from infected Chinese solar if there is greater transparency. The U.S. was a leader in fostering the solar industry. We can resume that role and will be competitive once we ensure a level playing field.
Simone: Now, let’s go back to the GCL group, it has close ties not only to the Party, but to the military as well.

In 2020, GCL partnered with the Poly Group again. By receiving Poly investment’s gigantic funding, the two entities were set to pioneer cutting-edge photovoltaic and semiconductor technology.

Who is behind Poly Group, you might wonder.

Tianliang Zhang: China Poly Group is among the 102 biggest central state owned enterprises in China. It was set up on the basis of Poly Technologies, Inc., an arms-manufacturing wing of the People’s Liberation Army of China. Now it is primarily engaged in representing the Chinese defense manufacturing industry in international sales. The two founders are Wang Jun and He Ping. Wang Jun is the second son of Wang Zhen, who was a founding general of PRC, and was vice premier and vice president in China. He Ping’s father in law is Deng Xiaoping. It is not a private enterprise, but an institution controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.

Simone: President Biden wants to reduce the consumption of traditional energy sources that come from fossil fuels and has issued restrictions on things like fracking and the Keystone XL oil pipeline. In the future, if the US is dependent on Chinese solar energy and the Communist Party decides to embargo America, What will happen? Here is Keith Krach again.

Simone: Do you think America’s existing ‘strategic’ energy reserves are enough to counter a serious major energy embargo?

Keith Krach: It is a good question. Many wars have been lost won because of oil. As under secretary of state for economic growth, energy and the environment. I looked at those three responsibilities as an optimization equation that maximize national security by optimizes economic growth, energy security and the health of the planet. This is a delicate balance to ensure that our grandchildren can enjoy the same prosperity and freedoms that we have. We must not lose sight of that.

Keith Krach: In terms of strategic energy reserves, it can only last so long. So the big question is to get that delicate balance and optimizing that and that requires a lot of analytical thinking and a lot of analysis.

Simone: So what is the way going forward?

Keith Krach:Government does have a role to play in ensuring clarity and to allow for free enterprise to flourish. Increase public investment in R&D is absolutely essential. I am free trader and Believe America’s free market system is the best in the world. But when somebody comes into the market and doesn’t play by the rules the market is no longer free. As I said in my Senate confirmation hearing when I was asked about what my strategy would be dealing with the China challenge, I said it would entail harnessing three of America’s biggest comparative advantages—uniting and mobilizing our allies, leveraging the innovation resources of our private sector and amplified democratic values. When we do that Chyna cannot compete.

I believe strongly in the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit of the American private sector. However, the U.S. government along with other free nations, must ensure there is an opportunity to compete. We believe in and enforce transparency, human rights and environmental standards. Free nations must demand that the energy transition is not done on the backs of minority populations in Xinjiang when a genocide is going on.

The case of PV manufacturing is not over. Nor is it unique. The threat of Chinese innovation mercantilism hangs over other, less-mature sectors, such as batteries, electrolyzers, and carbon capture devices, with the potential to reduce global carbon emissions. Policymakers should adopt measures that counter China’s policies and raise the odds that alternatives to the dominant designs in PV and other key climate and clean energy technologies get a fair chance to succeed in the coming decade. Innovation and deployment of these technologies are both important goals for public policy.

Simone: Do you think the Biden administration would go on this path?

Keith Krach: I think everybody understand the importance of energy security and how that’s tied with national security. But here again, it is an optimization equation. …

Simone: As the Biden administration presses forward with its green energy policy, it will have to deal with the dilemma of increased reliance on China-sourced solar components. Demand for solar energy will only increase if fossil fuel faces more restrictions.

Although US solar-cell manufacturers do exist, they’re responsible for a minority of the solar panel market in America. Whether that industry can survive, and thrive, will remain a critical strategic issue for America, and the world, in the coming decades. Thanks for watching Zooming In China. I am Simone Gao and see you next time.