How Chinese Intelligence Leaders Use the Elite Class

Show Notes

By Joe Duffus

Today’s show is a little different. Host Peter Schweizer is on the road, and co-host Eric Eggers is  in the studio in Florida. Meanwhile, Peter just learned that his latest book, RED HANDED: How American Elites Get Rich Helping China Win will debut on the New York Times bestseller list as the number one non-fiction book in the nation.

Heady stuff, but Peter has been here before. Actually, this is his seventh bestseller. So, Eric asks: What is it like promoting this book and what has been the response from the people you named in it?

“The attitude seems to be to let this blow over,” Peter says. Red Handed’s targets include famous, powerful, and wealthy people from the worlds of politics, Wall Street, Silicon Valley, and the most elite universities in the country. They have all have gone radio-silent about the book’s revelations. “But we at GAI [the Government Accountability Institute] will work to make sure it does not blow over.”

Eric says those are big words from a man who will shortly occupy a coach seat in row 32, next to the bathroom, on a commercial flight to Texas this afternoon.

GAI began researching “Red Handed” two years ago, taking a different approach for this book from Peter’s previous investigative journalism books by looking at the sources of corruption first, rather than the accomplices. How is China trying to corrupt and coopt elites in the United States to further its ambitions to surpass the US both economically and militarily?

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the suppression of democracy in Hong Kong, the alleged genocide of the Chinese Uyghurs, and the upcoming Olympics, China’s communist regime is very much on Americans’ minds. And their suspicions about the Beijing government are deep. Americans and people in other western countries can see for themselves how the Chinese Communist Party wheedles, buys off and, when necessary, threatens those who stand against it. They see the examples of wealthy, powerful people who have gotten rich on Chinese money and investments who clam up about or excuse the regime’s brutality. What they are seeing, Peter has discovered, is what the spies call “elite capture,” the gradual corruption of America’s most powerful and influential people. These are people who should know better, do know better, and have enough money already to refuse to be bought. Yet, the book’s examples and stories show the reader that many of them deserve to wear a sign reading “Under Contract.”

So, why hasn’t this been discussed and investigated already?

“When you see the business relationships they have, you understand why,” Peter answers. Leading Republicans in Congress as well as Democrats have their own deals with China, and the Chinese are shrewd and sophisticated about how they do this. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), the Bush family, Henry Kissinger, and others on the Republican side have benefitted just as much as Democrats like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) from deals made by family members with the Chinese regime.

There are a small number of senators willing to look into this. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) has said she will investigate China’s dealings with senior US leaders. But hers is a lonely voice.

The Chinese want access to western technology, Peter says, and they will even put up with the criticism of their repression of the Uyghurs to get it. They have a saying that roughly translates as “Big help with a little badmouth.”

Will the investigation come if the Republicans take control of the Senate in the mid-term elections this year? Well, the Senate would be run by Mitch McConnell, whose family includes his Chinese-born wife, former Cabinet secretary Elaine Chao. Her family owns a prosperous shipping company that draws most of its crews, cargoes, and shipbuilding from mainland China.

The story of Hunter Biden’s business dealings in China have been told already. After the opening of China in the 1970s, former president George HW Bush’s brother, Prescott Bush, began making millions there. His nephew Neil Bush, brother of former president George W. Bush, does deals in China today, and even appeared on Chinese state television to explain how Americans misunderstand the whole Hong Kong thing. As Peter says, Neil either doesn’t understand, or he’s been completely bought.”

For GAI, the job is to alert people, to be the “Paul Revere” who calls out these coincidences.

Can you imagine what the reaction would have been if, in the 1980s, members of Ronald Reagan’s family were making lucrative business deals with Russians tied to the KGB? Well, how about learning that the Bohai-Harvest Rosemont deal that Hunter Biden made $20 million from was with a man named Che Feng, who is a business partner with the vice minister for state security – the Chinese equivalent of the CIA — and the man responsible for foreign intelligence recruitment.

Red Handed is filled with these details because that is what Peter found. “In every single case that a door is opened for the Bidens for a commercial transaction in China that we’ve been able to find, every single one of them leads to an individual with links to the highest levels of Chinese intelligence.”

What does he say to people who try to ignore or dismiss these concerns?

“What would it take for you to say, ‘This is a problem. This needs to be investigated. This is a threat to our country’ What will it take?”