NEW YORK—A committee of China experts held a conference in New York on April 25, calling for a tougher response from the United States in reaction to the Chinese communist regime’s predatory practices in economic and finance fields.
The Committee on the Present Danger: China (CPDC) was launched in Washington on March 25 by national security practitioners, business leaders, experts on China, and religious freedom and human rights activists.
Stephen K. Bannon, a former White House chief strategist and former senior counselor to President Donald J. Trump, is a member of the CPDC and conveyed in his speech his feelings on the importance of the committee.
“The Committee on the Present Danger, everything we’re talking about today is not about the Chinese people,” said Bannon. “It is to help free the Chinese people. The enemy is very clear, it’s the enemy of the Chinese people, that is a radical cadre of the CCP.”
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The conference was called “The Chinese Communist Party’s Unrestricted Economic Warfare against America.”
“An entity that has for decades, been at war with the United States,” said Frank Gaffney, Vice Chairman of the CPDC.
The mission statement of the committee is to help defend America against all dangers and atrocities presented by the Chinese communist regime through public education and advocacy.
“History is going to judge us, we are going to be weighed and measured by what happened,” said Bannon.
For change to manifest in business dealings with Chinese companies in their underhanded dealings, Bannon said there needs to be accountability from western companies.
“Right now we have a global financial system, a global economic system, that allows this radical cadre and this totalitarian dictatorship in China to enslave their own people,” said Bannon. “Behind a firewall, and with social media scores and social credit, and they’ve allowed to enslave the Chinese people. That is just not acceptable. And I think that the takeaway today is America has got to stop financing it, we’ve gotta stop asking hard questions, and corporate America has got to stop supporting it.”
“They have a higher calling, and that’s money,” said Bannon. “History is going to weigh and measure us, and you have a decision. Are you going to be on the right side of history?”
“Jay Clayton of Sullivan & Cromwell, who’s head of the SEC, with one stroke of the pen he can take care of a lot of these problems,” said Bannon. “Of just a level playing field, first off full disclosure by the Chinese companies. Just have Chinese companies have full disclosure like the American companies have, that will stop a lot of the fraud and a lot of this money going to the CCP that’s being raised on Wall street right now.”
Roger W. Robinson, former director of International Economic Affairs for the National Security Council under Ronald Reagan, emphasized the necessity for transparency and full disclosure from Chinese companies.
“Where are these companies doing business, what kind of leverage do we have,” said Robinson. “How many of them are doing business in American cities? How many are listed on the New York Stock Exchange or NASDAQ or trading over the counter in our markets? These are going to be relevant questions. This is 21st-century war-fighting.”
Kyle Bass, founder and chief investment officer of Hayman Capital Management, suggested possible solutions to some of the problems.
“One thing we can do is all pension items and endowments run under an IRS exemption, a tax exemption,” said Bass. “So, if the IRS issued guidance that said you’re not allowed to invest in primary sanction entities period, its against the law, and if an entity is secondarily sanctionable or what we deem to be secondarily sanctionable, continuing to do business with primary sanction companies, we should force divestment.”
“If you want to keep your tax exemption, you’re not allowed to invest in these things,” said Bass. “Thats trillions of dollars, its something easy for our country to do.”
Gordon Chang, author of “The Coming Collapse of China” and contributor to The Daily Beast expressed his concern for the economy and operations of the Chinese communist regime.
“Each year China steals hundreds of billions of dollars of U.S. intellectual property,” said Chang. “Some people say it’s only $150 billion, other people say $600 billion. But whatever it is, it’s much too large. We have an innovation-based economy, if we cannot commercialize our innovation, we do not have an economy of the future.”
“China is conducting unrestricted warfare against the United States,” said Chang. “And this challenge is multi-faceted. It is military, diplomatic, technological, it is ideological, and it’s political.”
This is the fourth time the Committee on the Present Danger has been formed. Starting in 1950, it has responded to the threats from the former Soviet Union, terrorism, and now China’s communist party, a threat that most experts agree is much bigger and more sophisticated than the Soviet Union ever posed.
“The struggle is going to be determined, I believe by the country who has the strongest economy,” said Chang.