Skip to content

The Chinese Communist Regime’s Strategies to Overpower the U.S.

Download PDF

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) ghost is still behind every building block of Chinese society, while China’s economy has expanded to a scale comparable to that of the U.S. People who live in a society that doesn’t require having to face the CCP in their daily lives tend to underestimate the Party’s impact.

Although the U.S. government and the American people have never been China’s enemy, due to their conflicting ideologies, U.S. democracy and its values have presented the biggest threat to the CCP’s continued existence. This has been particularly true since the CCP attempted economic openness at the international level, while still trying to keep its political system unchanged. How the communist regime views and treats U.S.-China relations has therefore become quite complex.


I. To the Chinese People, the CCP Portrays the U.S. as an Enemy of China

While the regime needs the U.S. to validate its legitimacy on the international stage and U.S technology and its market to develop its power, it has to create and maintain hostility toward the U.S. and Western values among the Chinese people. To that end, it encourages the Chinese people to believe that the U.S. and China are more enemies than friends and that the U.S. is engaging in a trade war, a currency war, a media war, and military containment against China, even as it uses China’s resources and cheap labor for its own benefit. Yan Xuetong, director of the Institute of International Affairs at Qinghua University, summed it up at the 2010 World Economic Forum, “China and the U.S. are not friends. The interests (of the two countries) are, in many ways, contradictory and in opposition.” [1]

Inside China, the regime has resisted critical reform of its political system in order to fight for its existence in the face of the “outside world’s” increasing influence. Therefore, in its tightly controlled educational system, its media, art, and culture sectors, it has attempted to control normal society’s inflow of information and values by restricting the flow of information, building an advanced national Internet firewall, distorting the image of the U.S. and promoting anti-U.S. propaganda.

While the Internet has provided a venue for discussion that is more open than traditional media, the CCP has subjected it to its most sophisticated Web filtering system. The CCP employs a diverse array of strategies for silencing or guiding discussion about issues it considers politically sensitive.

The methods the CCP uses to restrict the spread of thought on pro-Western democratic ideals, personal freedom, or the rule of law include its tightly controlled public security apparatus; labor camps, courts, the legal system; and the persecution of people who promote these ideas or promote putting them into action in helping the people whose rights have been violated. Hu Jia, Gao Zhisheng, Chen Guangcheng, and Xu Zhiyong are just a few better known names among thousands of such similar individuals.

The CCP also does everything in its power to eliminate any organizations or individuals who express independent thought, whether religious or non-religious, ethnic, caring of their fellow Chinese, standing up to abuse, or otherwise not in conformity with the CCP’s autocratic choices. The problem is that its actions may potentially draw people together who will then standup to, challenge, or even question the CCP’s tight control. Thus the CCP has cracked down fiercely on the basic human rights of freedom of belief, freedom of speech, and freedom of assembly.

The CCP is not a very effective machine on its own due to inherent corruption and the many weaknesses in its system. However, a large number of the CCP’s ruling elite have both the vested interests and the needed resources to help maintain the CCP’s current status quo. They can thus protect their family’s accumulated wealth and interests and their special privileges in society. The whole CCP machinery exists so it can maintain its dominant force in Chinese society and defend its continued existence. Thus no individual top leader, no matter what his good wishes for the Chinese people or what heart he has to deepen reform could effect change easily.

The CCP’s former leader, Mao Zedong, opined that “the only real defense is active defense,” meaning a good offense is the best defense. Success often rests on destroying the enemy’s ability to attack.

CCP theorists even envision keeping China integrated with the CCP’s development of the China Model so it can “absorb the nutrients from ‘capitalist bodies’ [so as to] strengthen China’s socialist body;” “to win time and accumulate strength via economic development in order to eventually conquer capitalism,” and “to take advantage of [China’s] nationalized system and do the big things [the CCP] wants.” [2, 3]

By its very nature, the CCP wants to have increasingly more say in world affairs and has emboldened its diplomatic statements on foreign affairs. This new, audacious diplomacy is due to the fact that its “comprehensive national power, including military strength, is becoming stronger day by day.” Its reasoning is simple, “The United States can dictate and boss people [of other countries] around because of its unparalleled military hegemony.” [4] It is the same logic as its domestic dogma that “power comes from the barrel of gun.”


II. The CCP’s Strategy of Playing Offense in the Ideological Battle against the U.S.

The CCP employs a long-term strategy of using political, economic, cultural, and other means to infiltrate all segments of U.S. society so that the U.S. not only gets friendly with the Communist regime, but also embarks on a path of relative decline in national power and global influence.

Backed by its large dollar holdings, the CCP’s State-owned Enterprises (SOEs) and State-Controlled Enterprises (SCEs) are actively pursuing outbound investment in the U.S. On the one hand, U.S. companies face unfair competition from these Chinese SOEs and SCEs, because they enjoy government subsidies and preferential financing and procurement contracts. On the other hand, the CCP employs these companies to advance its foreign policy and strategic interests. [5]

In recent years, the CCP has been investing heavily in Africa. As the former U.S. assistant secretary of state for African affairs, Johnnie Carson, pointed out, however, “China is a very aggressive and pernicious economic competitor with no morals. China is not in Africa for altruistic reasons. China is in Africa for China primarily.” [6] The Party’s booming investments in Africa are propping up unsavory regimes, such as Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir and Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe; it appears that the more unsavory the regime the larger the investment. [7] The reasons for China’s investment include securing votes in the United Nations from African countries to support China’s own aims, depressing diplomatic support for its rival Taiwan, and also preventing African countries from raising the issue of Tibet or the systematic persecution of Falun Gong and the Muslim Uighurs. [8] China weakens any efforts to strengthen democracy and human rights in Africa.

Besides its SOEs’ visible world-wide investments in natural resources and infrastructure, many other activities are much more obscure yet more damaging to the interests of the host nation. Chief among them is China’s smuggling of its propaganda into its ideological rivals, such as the United States, and its long-term strategy of suppressing and suffocating dissidence and opposition. Throughout its history, the CCP has always considered media power to be as important as military power.

The CCP has made English versions of its major state media readily available to almost every American family. [9] It also either controls or influences most Chinese language media in the U.S. [10] By refusing to renew the visas of Western journalists who report stories it dislikes and by rewarding “friendly” media, the CCP aims to sway international media to provide coverage in its favor. [11]

How China brought China Central Television (CCTV) to the U.S. is a good example of the infiltration of China’s propaganda. The process was carefully orchestrated and executed. CCTV first managed to broadcast in the Washington D.C. area in 2004, using the air time of Montgomery County’s public TV channels, in partnership with a local Chinese TV company run by a Chinese American. Subsequently, through the local Chinese TV company CCTV’s programs landed onto Comcast’s cable channel where it became a 24/7 Chinese channel in the U.S. Apparently, the strategy has been very effective. According to National Public Radio, now “CCTV America has its home in a new building just two blocks from the White House, in the heart of Washington. Cable providers in New York, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles, among other big cities now carry it.”

As part of the task of managing how it is perceived, the CCP tells a one-sided, rosy story about China to invited politicians and business leaders. [12] It acquires entertainment facilities and installs networks of language teaching facilities in academic institutions. [13] It regularly sends art groups to the U.S., promoting communist ideology under cover of its identity as “Chinese culture.” [14]

The above practices, plus the Chinese consulates’ activities, against the backdrop of China’s economic achievements, contribute to a growing constituency for the CCP’s ideology inside the U.S. and foster massive espionage activities. [15] As pointed out in the 2009 REPORT TO CONGRESS of the U.S.-CHINA ECONOMIC AND SECURITY REVIEW COMMISSION, “China is the most aggressive country conducting espionage against the United States.”


III. The CCP Strategy of Using Overseas Grassroots Chinese Associations to Infiltrate the U.S.

The CCP’s strategy to infiltrate the United States is best illustrated by an article published on the government website of Hunan Province. Cai Lijun, a high-level Public Security official, summed up the strategy of how to combat overseas Falun Gong and other spiritual/religious groups by establishing CCP-controlled grassroots Chinese-community organizations. This strategy applies in general to the CCP’s overseas agenda. Below are some excerpts from the article:

“When we establish grassroots Chinese-community organizations, [we will] not only consolidate the social power of the overseas Chinese, but also naturally achieve opinion hegemony and become a political power wedged in the foreign society. How to develop overseas Chinese organizations: (1) Start a new organization; (2) Acquire a foreign organization (borrow the shell); (3) Merge with a foreign organization (reorganize); (4) Carry out joint activities (business cooperation), (5) Support the foreign organization (from behind the scenes); and (6) Expand the current organization’s function (embedded development). For example, add an anti-cult feature to an overseas Chinese student association.”

“One of the most critical problems for overseas organizations is the need for financial support. Direct funding from the government is not suitable. This requires that political and economic organizations have tentacles overseas to enable them to reach consensus and to cooperate. Chinese enterprises have already been established outside the country. Most are large state-owned enterprises. They all have a common vision to maintain overseas interests and the motivation to express political aspirations overseas. It is relatively easy to reach a consensus. The enterprises also have the ability to support overseas Chinese organizations financially.”

“The Central Political and Law Commission and the China Association for Science and Technology should establish an institutionalized partnership with the SASAC (State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council), the overseas Chinese federation, and other agencies. They should initiate the policy at home (inside China) and implement the strategy overseas, enabling the overseas entities to become long-term, stable, and reliable sources of supporting forces.” [16]


IV. The CCP’s Overseas “Underground” Party Organizational Activities

The Chinese Communist government mandates that all the overseas State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) establish Communist Party branches and regularly hold Party activities. The Party branches should report to the local Chinese Embassies or Consulates. They should avoid using employees of foreign nationalities in their activities and all such activities should be held secretly. Below are a few examples:

1)     Sinohydro Group Ltd. is a large international enterprise directly under the control of the Central and State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council. On August 24, 2006, the tentative Party committee of the company issued a “Guideline for Reinforcing Party Development Work in Overseas Operating Units.” The 18th rule in “The Principles of Party Activities for the Overseas Operating Units” states, “When corporations, international enterprises and their subsidiary companies set up their overseas operating units, they need to establish a Party organization simultaneously to insure that wherever there is a management project and personnel, there is also a Party organization.” The 32nd rule states, “All overseas Party organizations in the overseas operating units must report to and be under the leadership of the Party Committee of the Chinese Embassy in that country.” The 33rd rule states, “When establishing Party organizations, overseas operating units need to conform to the situations of the residing country. It is not advised to hold large-scale activities or conferences openly in the name of the Party organization, nor can the internal information of the Party be exposed. One cannot accept foreign media interviews in the name of the leader of the Party organization.” [17]

2)     China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC): CCECC follows the principle of “wherever the team is, the Party organization should be established and its activities should be initiated.” [18]

3)     China National Oil & Gas Exploration and Development Corporation (CNODC): CNODC stated on its website that the company fulfilled a 100 percent completion rate in overseas Party branch development. As of June 2010, there were eight corporate Party committees, 12 general Party divisions, and 68 branches, fully playing the core political role of the Party. Fifty-six percent of the total number of overseas Chinese employees were Party members. [19]

4)     The China Geological Engineering Corporation (CGC): Since June 20, 2004, the CGC Party Committee has been “thoroughly investigating the number and distribution of overseas active Party members,” “so that, although they are far away from the homeland physically, the active Party members overseas have unified guidance.” “They conform to the requirement that, wherever there are Party members, there is a Party organization and wherever there are Party organizations, there are systematic organization agendas. They establish and strengthen the Party branch offices and ensure that every Party member is under the management of the Party branches.” [20]


V. The CCP’s History of Using Immigrants as a Cover for Its Intelligence Work

Before Hong Kong’s return to China in 1997, Chinese Security Departments sent a number of intelligence agents to live in Hong Kong as Hong Kong immigrants. The Public Security Ministry gave them one-way permits from the mainland to Hong Kong, ostensibly intended for family reunions. As reported in the book Unveiling the Yuan Hua Case, it was believed that Communist agents were the recipients of about 15 to 20 percent of all one-way permits.” Lai Cangxin, the main character in the book and the defendant in China’s most prominent smuggling case, revealed that he knew several dozen of these agents. The National Security Ministry had sent Lai himself to Hong Kong as a special agent. [21]



[1] Xinhua, “Sino-U.S. Relations: More Foes than Friends,” March 22, 2010.
[2] Yu Keping, The China Model and Ideological Emancipation, November 19, 2008.
[3] Elitism and the Nationalized System, Chinese Dominance to Be Stronger in the Future, December 13, 2009.
[4] People’s Daily, “Why Has China Emboldened Diplomatic Statements on Foreign Affairs? People’s Daily (overseas edition),” May 14, 2013.
[5] The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC) 2012 Annual Report to Congress
[6] AFP, “U.S. diplomat tells China to act responsibly in Africa” November 22, 2011,
[8] AFP: Leaked U.S. cable says China has ‘no morals’ in Africa.
[9] In May 2011, the North America regional headquarters of China’s Xinhua News Agency formally launched its new office in Manhattan’s Times Square. CNTV, a 24-hour English news channel formerly known as CCTV News, was launched in December, 2009. CCTV America, the American division of CCTV News, based in Washington, DC and manages bureaus across North and South America, began broadcasting on February 6, 2012. China Daily put a paid subdomain on the website of Washington Post,
China’s state-owned radio station China Radio International can be heard on the medium-wave AM band in many areas of U.S.
[10] Chinascope, “How the Chinese Government Came To Dominate Chinese Language Media in the United States,” January 2008,
[11] Testimony of Associate Professor Anne-Marie Brady, School of Political and Social Sciences, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand at the hearing of U.S.‐China Economic & Security Review Commission on “China’s Propaganda and Perception Management Efforts, Its Intelligence Activities that Target the United States, and the Resulting Impacts on U.S. National Security” April 30, 2009
[12] Washington Post, “Congressional staffers often travel on tabs of foreign governments,” February 17, 2013,
[13] In September 2012, China’s Dalian Wanda Group acquired AMC Entertainment for $2.6 billion. See the website of Hanban, global headquarters of Confucius Institutes, for a list of Confucius Institutes in the U.S. universities.
[14] Epoch Times, “Red Ballet at Kennedy Center Becomes Focus of Controversy,” September 28, 2011,
[15] Statement of Mr. I.C. Smith, Special Agent (retired), Federal Bureau of Investigation, Testimony before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, Hearing on “China’s Propaganda and influence Operations, Its intelligence Activities that Target the United States, and the Resulting Impacts on U.S. National Security.” April 30, 2009,
[16] CaiLijun: Supporting Overseas Chinese to establish and develop grassroots anti-evil cult organizations is the best avenue to combat the overseas evil-cult. Dec, 2011
[17] The Third Construction Bureau of Chinese water conservation and hydro-electricity company. “Guidelines regarding strengthening establishment of overseas Party structure” Chinese water conservation and hydroelectricity company [2006] 55 documents (August 24, 2006)
[18] Experience and Exploration of CCECC to Enhance Overseas Party Development,
[19] Experience and Exploration of CNODC to Enhance Overseas Party Development. CNODC News Center, June 10, 2010,
[20] The State Council for State assets Surveillance Management committee Website. August 12, 2005). “Firmly advancing activities of overseas Party education” author: Party committee of Chinese geology Project Company.
[21] Sheng Xue: “Unveiling the Yuan Hua Case (“远华案”黑幕).” Mirror Books, New York, USA, 2001. ISBN 962-8744-46-1.

Download PDF