There’s an interesting article over on the Washington Post site that is well worth a read. In “China’s Fingerprints are everywhere,” David Ignatius looks at how the Chinese government is using a combination of threats, money, and behind the scenes pressure to undermine American institutions, particularly in the academe and political think tanks. Basically, says Ignatius, Beijing is busy supporting anti-Democratic movements and individuals everywhere it can find them.
In response, American intelligence and strategic agencies are designing potential responses. But, it isn’t easy. “In targeting Chinese operations, the administration is walking a delicate line between helping American academics, think-tank experts and journalists resist pressure and fomenting mass public anxiety about Beijing’s activities. Officials say they want to avoid the hysteria of the 1950s — but also help American institutions push back against intimidation from a Chinese Communist Party that is rich, self-confident and seductive in a way that Russia has never been.”
The question, though, is whether an administration headed up by Trump can respond to such a threat. When the White House has been itself contemptuous of democracy and the rule of law, how can it champion those same values in confrontation with a foreign rival?