As tensions between China and the United States increase, new research from the Heritage Foundation outlines several ways Americans at the federal, state, and local levels can prevent the systematic and aggressive influence operations of the Communist Chinese government (CCP), threatening the US.
According to researchers, the CCP can exploit Chinese investment in America to steal intellectual property and data, holding critical infrastructure at risk and expanding its control of necessary supply chains. As a result, US officials must risk-manage CCP-linked investments that threaten domestic security.
Currently, government employee pension systems, state-funded universities, and other state retirement funds hold sizable Chinese equities and bonds, fueling the CCP’s technology development and boosting the economy and military of an adversary. Chinese companies also fail to adhere to basic investor protection standards or federal security laws.
To prevent such actions, experts at the Heritage Foundation explain that state and local officials need to divest funds from China.
On the technology side, Chinese tech businesses like Huawei have used American infrastructure to undermine US national security, enabling the CCP to use backdoors, leading to vulnerabilities. Researchers say the solution is to ban Chinese technology and firms from state procurement processes.
Social media apps with deep ties to Beijing, like TikTok, should be banned, particularly from government devices and access to their domains should be blocked on public networks.
Researchers also note that given the CCP’s infiltration of US academic institutions from K-12 classrooms to the most elite universities via donations, research grants, and Chinese government-sponsored student associations, Beijing has successfully compromised academic freedom, effectively establishing Chinese footprints in American institutions.
A way that states can prevent this is to stop covering CCP activities in education and enforce transparency for donations and grants.
Another issue raised by researchers is the purchase of American farmland, critical infrastructure, and military bases, which could allow the CCP to threaten US food security and conduct espionage. The recommended policy is to screen and prevent land purchases from foreign malign actors that could threaten US national security.
As Beijing continues to operate extensive espionage operations at the state and local levels, threatening the security of every day Americans via business and academia to social and alumni groups, cultural exchanges, and sister cities programs, experts recommend educating state and local actors about the espionage tactics deployed by the CCP and restrict or ban the activities of CCP-linked groups that pose espionage risks.
In daily American sports and entertainment, US officials must require transparency and investigate CCP censorship of media and events that receive state tax privileges or other legal advantages.
On state and local political actions, researchers note that because China hires American lobbyists to engage state officials and influencers to promote its interests, they must prohibit lobbyists working for the CCP or their interests from lobbying.
Subsequently, Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) policies promoted by radical left-wing progressives risk enriching China at America’s expense and place vital energy supply chains at Bejing’s control, costing Americans jobs and money. As a result, ESG compliance and regulations need to stop, given that they harm states by passing legislation to protect state pensions and instate economic interests.