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Chinese Weaponized Corruption Is a National Security Threat

Austin Bay on

In November 2018, at the direction of then-President Donald Trump, the U.S. Department of Justice, the FBI and other federal security and economic agencies launched the China Initiative to halt the massive transfer of American information and technology to China and counter Chinese spying in American businesses, research institutions and universities.

In late February of this year the Biden administration terminated the project, alleging the initiative was racially biased and ineffective.

Perhaps. There is evidence the FBI mishandled several cases.

However, the strategic problems posed by China's aggressive spying operations and influence operations within the U.S. have not disappeared.

Why didn't the Biden administration address the China Initiative's problems instead of eliminating the effort?

That's not just a fair question, it's a fundamental national security question that deserves better answers than the administration has provided.

 

In early January I wrote a column sketching four strategic challenges the U.S. faces.

Challenge No. 4 is relevant to this column: No. 4 -- The pervasive corruption of influential but venal individuals and venal institutions in democratic nations. The corruption is so internally corrosive to these nations that timely and effective political and military response to Challenges Nos. 1 through 3 is systemically delayed, undermined or immobilized.

The other challenges were No. 1: Imperialist powers bent on recovering lost empires; No. 2: Failed states seeding regional anarchy; No. 3: Militant extremists attempting to acquire weapons of mass destruction.

They still plague us, and Challenge No. 4 exacerbates all of them.

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