Houston, We Have a 2024 China Problem

Houston-China-ProblemRussia is not the only global problem that democracy has to deal with. The Chinese regime ran large influence campaigns, attempting mass social engineering in the U.S. 2022 midterm elections, according to a declassified intelligence report and multiple private-sector investigations. We can expect the same in 2024.

The intelligence report has shed light on the Chinese regime’s involvement in the U.S. 2022 midterm elections, where they reportedly used various tactics to influence the outcome.

According to the findings, these tactics ranged from retaliation against specific U.S. lawmakers to promoting divisive content online, and even impersonating American voters. This multifaceted strategy aimed to sway public opinion and election results in favor of candidates who might support China’s policies, regardless of their political party.

Sam Kessler, a geopolitical adviser, interprets these efforts as a continuation of China’s broad strategy to undermine democratic efforts abroad and to divide U.S. society over contentious social issues. He suggested that these actions are part of a bigger picture, indicating the China Communist Party’s willingness to employ such tactics to influence U.S. elections and policies that promote democracy internationally​.

Furthermore, major tech companies have also reported on China’s influence operations. Meta revealed the removal of thousands of accounts linked to China, which were involved in the world’s largest online influence operation aimed at the U.S. elections. This large-scale operation targeted not only the U.S. but also key allies with disinformation campaigns across more than 50 digital platforms.

Moreover, Microsoft’s findings corroborate these influence operations, noting that China-based hackers took a page out of the KGB playbook and used artificial intelligence to create and disseminate divisive content, masquerading as American voters during the midterm elections​.

These reports suggest a calculated approach by the CCP, leveraging digital platforms to shape public opinion and election outcomes, a strategy described by Casey Fleming, CEO of BlackOps Partners, as part of China’s wider hybrid warfare tactics aimed at weakening its primary adversary, the U.S.

As the U.S. moves closer to the 2024 presidential elections, experts like Kessler anticipate an escalation in foreign influence operations, highlighting the need for awareness and security training against such subversive activities.

The problem is not limited to America. Recently, Europe also recognizes it has a China problem. This week, the European Union has released a raft of proposals to boost "economic security". A Wall Street opinion piece today stated: "A variety of business and economic controversies in recent years exposed how far behind Europe has fallen in grappling with the security implications of trade and investment flows with a large, ideologically antagonistic partner."  They make the point that Beijing is launching a subtle but most effective assault on European political culture. 

Educate and inform the whole mass of the people... They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.” - Thomas Jefferson

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