Excellent question. China has studied the USSR failings deeply. One of the lessons they learned was how the USSR interacted with the west. The Cold War in someways was an easy evolution because there were no Soviet constituents in the west. 1/n
Compare that to China. They spend vast sums of money (an issue I will return to in a minute) to change opinion and compromise individuals who would be otherwise less inclined to speak positively. Wall Street. Tech. Academia. Press. On and on and on China is using a massive 2/n
Flow of money to influence these and other sectors. Importantly, China does not even need these people to give a full throated pro-CCP defense they just need them to be wishy washy. That's a win for the CCP. Look at todays Asia Society oped: yes, there are 3/n
Some human rights issues, but the US should make a deal on Huawei and other things hoping China will reciprocate. That's a CCP win. Look at academia: hard science professors get funding for research that increases security on Uyghurs in concentration camps and 4/n
Politial science professors urge engagement because they receive funding and visas even though this strategy is a complete abysmal failure. It doesn't have to be full throated CCP advocacy merely bad strategies looking the other way in return for access and funding 5/n
Then look at the money. People say I don't take CCP money. Really? Yale China Center for Engagement and Ear Plugging is funded by Alibaba money. Is that CCP money? They certainly aren't elevating hawks. Tung Chee Wha a major CCP guy funds all kinds of things in the US 6/n
And not coincidentally all these places are very wishy washy because there are lots of constituent bases that now have a vested interest in CCP via proxy money. Part of what makes the CCP so challenging an adversary is they are much better are playing to peoples weaknesses: 7/n
Money and sex. Everyone laughs at Neil Bush for his hooker in the hotel room story but there are credible stories about academics and journalists alike not to mention individuals from business and politics. China is building a constituency that does not want to lose the perks.

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More from @BaldingsWorld

13 Jan
Let's take a simple example of how logically incoherent supposed Biden foreign policy is and the contradictions that will need to be resolved. Biden administration wants to work with allies. (Every Acela Corridor journalist faints like they are at a boy bands concert) 1/n
However, The German Volkswagen Federation of Europe clearly has no interest in challenging China and stated Xinjiang really isn't a problem for them. Add in Biden team criticizing Trump decision to pull more troops from Germany, logically Biden is between a rock and a hard 2/n
Spot. The major European ally you need wants nothing to do with challenging China, in fact is openly doing the opposite, and you want to do nothing but give them more free stuff all while they ignore so the things that are important to you like China and Russia. 3/n
Read 5 tweets
11 Jan
A short thread on free speech. 1. I make no apologies for being a near free speech absolutist. To me, there is almost never any valid reason for restricting speech definitely not the reasons that are commonly used. Just in case you were wondering, and feel free to look, 1/n
I have never called for or pushed for the censoring, deplatforming, etc of anyone or institution this includes the CCP and all their minions. I do not believe in that. This is not partisan or group, I hold that constant for all groups 2/n
2. Being a free speech absolutist means that you do not approve of the speech content but that people should have the ability to say it. I'm not a racist. Communist. Facist or whatever other -ist you may want to claim but I believe people should be able to say it 3/n
Read 9 tweets
10 Jan
I really shouldn't be at this point in history but even I was surprised at the criticism I've seen of the State Departments announcement on Taiwan. So let's unpack it a little. Let's start with a simple question: is it good policy and advance objectives? I don't think there 1/n
is any objective doubt it is both good policy and advances key diplomatic, security, and economic objectives. Taiwan has wanted to upgrade its relationship with the US for a long time. The US has held back only out of concern for hurting Chinese people's feelings. 2/n
Given the ongoing security escalation of the PLA and other Chinese institutions, it provides good additional avenues to meet with US and Taiwanese officials. It demonstrates US commitment to the region and a key ally. I really can't think of any good reason this is bad 3/n
Read 10 tweets
31 Dec 20
Since I have received many questions and crazy accusations, on this last day of 2020 let me give you a random collection of thoughts to close out this year. 1/n
1. I miss Asia. It's awesome. Most countries have a sense that things are getting better and that opportunities exist. From people starting businesses to sending their kids to better schools, there is a vibrancy and optimism that is infectious 2/n
2. Americans are a whiny narcistic self absorbed lot that rather then get down to a task and make things happen are content to complain ad nauseum. The world don't owe you $#!+. Get down to it and get on with it 3/n
Read 14 tweets
29 Dec 20
When you're analyzing economics or foreign policy you start from the place of it had better damn well be right or at least wrong for the right reasons and not some partisan or biased hackery. The EU deal with China is exposing the charlatanry of the Acela Corridor chattering 1/n
Because it was absolutely never based in getting it right or based upon what are the facts saying, it was based in nothing more than political reactionism. The so called think tank talent had no insight into what politics or policies these countries faced which hinder 2/n
Cooperation but rather is board game view of the world and some political talking points. I have written often about how everyone is for allies but there is not understanding of what motivates or interests those allies have. I'm all for international institutions 3/n
Read 5 tweets
28 Dec 20
Very fair and common question but to be honest I don't like this question because it has almost no relation to policy/actual action and everything to do with the PR spokesperson. We should never equate policy with politics. Reframe this question about policy 1/n
If we focus on the policy actions, I think the US has every reason to be very proud of its actions over the last four years. Let me emphasize this does not mean a full throated endorsement, I does not mean I would have done everything the exact same way, however, the policy 2/n
within foreign policy I think is a strong record that has really been at the forefront of changing the discussion specifically about China but also expanding on previous changes. Let's go over a couple. First, USG has challenged China directly across a range of policy 3/n
Read 12 tweets

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