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Press Release Published: Apr 17, 2024

Hearing Wrap Up: The Federal Government Must Effectively Combat the CCP’s Influence and Infiltration Campaign

WASHINGTON – The House Committee on Oversight and Accountability held a hearing today titled, “Defending America from the Chinese Communist Party’s Political Warfare, Part I.” At the hearing, experts outlined how the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is waging an influence and infiltration campaign that threatens U.S. military readiness, the technology sector, financial markets, the agriculture industry, education systems, intellectual property, and federal government agencies. In addition, experts emphasized the CCP’s ongoing political warfare seeks to manipulate the public and these tactics jeopardize the safety of all Americans. Members concluded that the House Oversight Committee has a responsibility to ensure the federal government is using all existing resources effectively to thwart China’s political warfare and examine solutions that agencies can adopt to eliminate CCP threats.   

Key Takeaways:

The Chinese Communist Party is waging war against the U.S. by targeting, influencing, and infiltrating federal government agencies and key American industries, including but not limited to America’s education, agriculture, critical infrastructure, research, energy, business, space, and technology sectors.

  • Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.): “For decades, the CCP has sought to infiltrate and influence every aspect of American society. Chief among the Party’s tactics is political warfare. Political warfare is meant to influence the emotions, motives, and behavior of Americans in a manner favorable to China’s objectives. The CCP’s methods are unconventional and may be hard to recognize. But its destructive ambitions to manipulate American minds, conduct espionage, steal intellectual property and trade secrets, bring fentanyl into our country, and many, many other nefarious influence operations are actively being pursued right under our noses. China’s goal is plain: to defeat America.”

China experts—with decades of experience in U.S. intelligence, national security, and the military—testified that the CCP’s ambitions to influence the United States are destructive, dangerous, and jeopardize the safety of all Americans.

  • Ret. Brig. Gen. Robert Spalding: “Today, we are in a new Cold War. Our adversaries wield weapons far beyond the traditional military arsenal, instead harnessing the power of communication to distort and manipulate the very fabric of our society. The Chinese Communist Party and its proxies wage a global political war to influence the face of human civilization, using the tools of statecraft, business, economics, trade, finance, academia, and especially technology. To free ourselves and the world from this tyranny, we must completely separate the institutions of the free world from Chinese Communist Party influence, or we continue the slow disintegration of our Republic.”
  • Ret. Col. Grant Newsham: “Through a range of political warfare methods, China is embedding behind our lines, attacking us from the inside. For the first time in centuries, we no longer have the luxury of distance. We are being killed in our homes by fentanyl. Our cities and economy are taking hit after hit from Covid, unfair trade, intellectual property theft and hacking. We don’t know who is buying land near our critical infrastructure or wandering illegally around our military bases. The first thing we have to do is understand and admit the threat we are facing from the Peoples’ Republic of China – and take responsibility for dealing with it.”

The House Oversight Committee has a responsibility to ensure the federal government is taking every action necessary to protect Americans from the CCP’s ongoing political warfare.

  • Chairman James Comer: “The Oversight Committee’s message to federal agencies is this: the threat from the CCP is grave. You must step up and recognize what the CCP is seeking to do to our country.  If agencies don’t see that the CCP is our adversary—they can’t effectively counter China when it targets the American communities for whom the federal government is responsible.”

Member Highlights:

Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer emphasized the Office of the Director of National Intelligence consistently recognizes the CCP as the most consequential threat to American security. He noted the federal government has consistently failed to use resources effectively to combat the CCP’s political warfare.

Chairman Comer: “The Office of the Director of National consistently recognizes the CCP as THE threat to American security and our economy. Yet too many agencies are not doing enough because they don’t have a China strategy, creative solutions, and proactive, aggressive methods. The nation faces a real threat from CCP manipulation.  It is a quiet, yet pervasive and dangerous threat that affects Americans every day.  This Committee seeks to confront that threat. The solutions agencies adopt must not only eliminate CCP infiltration and influence from our country.  They must help inspire and equip Americans to strengthen their communities, innovate, and create the technologies and phenomena that will secure a strong and prosperous future for our nation.” 

During Chairman Comer’s questioning, Mr. Mattis testified that the federal government is currently unprepared to combat the CCP’s political warfare. He stressed Congress should work in a bipartisan manner to ensure agencies have a plan to protect Americans from the CCP.   

Chairman Comer: “Our federal government is ill-prepared for China’s schemes. Does the government have a plan?”

Mr. Peter Mattis: “We do not have enough expertise to execute our own policy and plans. In some form or another, every federal department has some role to play. Whether it is because they fund research or protect constitutional rights.”

Chairman Comer: “Looks like you have to have the will to combat China… I hope we can do. This is a huge problem in America, and it doesn’t sound like our federal government is taking that seriously. As we move forward, I hope to work in a bipartisan manner.”

Representative Gary Palmer (R-Ala.) pointed out the CCP is implementing programs aimed at harnessing critical technology that threatens U.S. military readiness and Americans’ personal data.

Rep. Palmer: “Despite the name which would indicate that China is trying to promote the development of intellectual capabilities amongst people, what it really is is spy buying.” 

Col. Newsham: “Correct, that really is all it is, buying technology that is going to be used to dominate us or kill Americans if a fight comes.”  

Rep. Palmer: “Right, and how are these programs linked to the CCP?”

Col. Newsham: “They are run directly by the CCP, this is not an independent operation going on it is a Chinese government practice.”  

Rep. Palmer: “Can you repeat the goal of these types of technology programs?” 

Col. Newsham: “It very much is to build up the Chinese economy and there is no distinction between the Chinese economy and its military and the objective is to dominate us economically and militarily. And if necessary to beat us on the battlefield if the time should come.”

Representative Lisa McClain (R-Mich.) focused on the consequences of U.S. dependence on China for critical minerals and specifically the Biden Administration’s reliance on the CCP to fulfill its Green New Deal agenda.

Rep. McClain: “Let me remind everyone: China is not our friend. Colonel Newsham, can you tell this committee how the Biden Administration has allowed us to become solely dependent on China when it comes to renewable energy, especially as it pertains to EV batteries?”

Col. Newsham: “The Chinese have been doing their best to take new technologies and dominate them, get the supply chains, for a long time. This has been going on from previous Administration’s as well. But what they are saying, specifically with EVs, with an Administration that may be moving too fast to try and push green energy, green technologies, and even force EVs is that it creates a certain dependency which works to China’s benefit. As you stated, they control good chunks of the supply chain in the area of the precursor minerals, that you need.” 

Rep. McClain: “In a nutshell, being dependent on China, does that help us?” 

Col. Newsham: “Oh it’s going to kill us, the Chinese love it.”

Representative Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) highlighted the CCP’s use of cyber warfare and their ongoing attempts to infiltrate and influence America’s economic sector.

Rep. Mace: “To advance its destructive ambitions, the CCP wants to become a cyber super power. Do they aim to do this by having CCP backed operatives in America stealing emerging technologies from American companies?”

Gen. Spalding: “They do and they also seek to gather as much data as they can about the United States in order to become, in their term, an AI superpower.”  

Rep. Mace: “Does the CCP have the ability to hack into our government systems using its hacking operations?”

Gen. Spalding: “Absolutely.” 

Rep. Mace: “How do they do it?” 

Gen. Spalding: “We spend a lot of our money on the hard iron of national security, they spend a lot of money on infiltration and political influence and in particular, having millions of hackers that are focused on these types of disruptive activities.” 

Representative Pat Fallon (R-Texas) pointed out many Democrats on the Committee focused on Russia, even inviting a witness focused on Russia, and fail to realize the dangerous tactics the CCP are waging against Americans. He also noted that the U.S. intelligence community has failed to address China’s dangerous political warfare campaign.

Rep. Fallon: “This is a hearing about the threat China poses. Not Russia. It is sad when you hear these buzzwords from the ranking member and other democrats: they say Russia, Ukraine, Nazis, MAGA, collusion, Russian hoax. When the Mueller investigation found that there was no collusion, it truly was a Russian hoax, reality proves quite the opposite. Has the United States intelligence community accurately identified the threat China presents?”

Gen. Spalding: “No. I believe that is a direct result of leadership in Washington. The Chinese Communist Party is opportunistic.” 

Representative Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.) discussed how the CCP achieves their political warfare campaign by utilizing intelligence operations to target and track Chinese Americans and the Chinese diaspora.

Rep. Burchett: “Mr. Mattis, how does the Chinese Ministry of State Security and the Ministry of public service advance communist China’s unrestricted warfare against the United States?”

Mr. Mattis: “The way the party defines united front work is it is the work of the whole party. As one of my friends and colleagues put in a report, the party speaks for you and you can see a variety of party institutions, but then you can see united front work being conducted in nearly every single ministry. And in the Ministry of Public Security, you can see this in their contracting, and for computer network exploitation, or hacking dissidents at home and abroad. They use their overseas police stations to track and to monitor Chinese who are living overseas whether they are PRC citizens or not, and whether or not they are legally there or not. And the Ministry of State Security is an intelligence service with internal and external responsibilities, some of which are political influence and they have often hidden inside of united front organizations as a way to provide and conceal who they are which is intelligence officers.”Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) emphasized the CCP is currently exploiting the Biden Administration’s open border policies and data shows Chinese nationals illegally entering the U.S. is skyrocketing.

Rep. Greene: “While we’re on the topic of China, I think it is extremely important to point out that our own wide open border is the most dangerous threat to our national security. According to CBP data, there have been 24,296 Chinese nationals enter the United States at the Southern Border just this year in 2024. That is up 7,000 percent since Biden took office in 2021, when only 342 Chinese nationals crossed our border.”Representative Nick Langworthy (R-N.Y.) highlighted how the CCP targets and infiltrates U.S. academic institutions, including leveraging Chinese researchers and students studying in the U.S. to steal sensitive research and intellectual property on behalf of the CCP’s military.

Rep. Langworthy: “In practice, the Chinese Students and Scholars Association serves as the eyes and ears for the Chinese government on American campuses. It allows the CCP to monitor and retaliate… The CCP has also worked to outpace the U.S. in STEM field research. It appears to me that Americans are not fully aware of the CCP’s tactics on our campuses.”


Comer: Government Agencies Must Step Up to Combat the CCP’s Influence and Infiltration Campaign

Chairman Comer Launches Government-Wide Investigation into China’s Ongoing Efforts to Infiltrate and Influence the United States