This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, November 20, 2019: 

Five hundred years before the birth of Jesus Christ, a Chinese military genius named Sun Tzu (or “Master Sun”) arose from obscurity to write “The Art of War.” His military strategies, and proverbs attending them, remain relevant today.

Michael Pillsbury, author of “The Hundred-Year Marathon: China’s Strategy to Replace America as the Global Superpower,” exposed the communists’ (currently ruling the Chinese mainland) reliance upon Tzu’s strategies in confronting its temporarily superior enemy, the United States. In essence, wrote Pillsbury, the way to defeat a superior enemy is to invite him to help you become his superior without giving away the game.

It may be called the Kissinger strategy, and Pillsbury, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) since the Nixon administration, worked diligently to promote it. In his book, he referred to himself as a “panda hugger.”

But Pillsbury, to his credit, came in from the cold, repented, and in 2015 wrote what some are calling a 300-page apology to the American people for deceiving them. He wrote:

We believed that American aid to a fragile China whose leaders thought like us would help China become a democratic and peaceful power without ambitions or regional or even global dominance.


Every one of the assumptions behind that belief was wrong – dangerously so.

Pillsbury spent the early part of his book apologizing for his error. Now being referred to as a “panda slugger,” Pillsbury spelled out in detail the purpose and the strategy behind the theft of American technology. In his chapter “A China World Order in 2049” Pillsbury summarizes how the world will look:

In sum, if the China dream becomes a reality in 2049, the Sinocentric world will nurture autocracies; many websites will be filled with rewritten history defaming the West and praising China; and pollution will contaminate the air in more countries, as developing nations adopt the Chinese model of “grow now, and deal with the environment later” in a race to the bottom in food safety and environmental standards.


As environmental degradation expands, species could disappear, ocean levels will rise, and cancer will spread…


Chinese state-owned monopolies and Chinese-controlled economic alliances will dominate the global marketplace, and one of the world’s mightiest military alliances [NATO] may be controlled by Beijing, which will be able to easily outspend the United States on military research, troop levels, and weapons systems.

Pillsbury spares his reader the horrors such a totalitarian rule would inflict on the people of the world. He leaves that for Alex Newman, writing of the danger for The New American in 2015:

The regime ruling mainland China has murdered more human beings than any entity in all of recorded human history. It continues to slaughter millions of unborn children in forced abortions – part of its savage “one-child policy”…. It ruthlessly persecutes Christians and other minorities, as well as anyone and everyone who dares to challenge its tyranny. The regime even harvests body organs from political prisoners and religious dissidents.

Others have tried to lift the veil. Roger Robinson, a former senior director of international economic affairs under President Ronald Reagan and his administration’s principal architect of the collapse of the Soviet Union, issued a similar warning to Hillsdale College students in September:

Since adopting the Kissinger policy of engaging with China in the 1970s, our government has operated on the assumption that economic and financial relations with China would lead Beijing to liberalize politically. And since 2001, when we backed China’s entry into the World Trade Organization, the pace at which we have given China access to our best technology and capital and trade markets has accelerated.


Yet China has shown no signs of embracing individual freedoms or the rule of law.


Instead, with our support, the Chinese have launched a massive campaign to become the world’s leading superpower.


We know about the “Belt and Road Initiative,” a strategic undertaking to place huge segments of the world under China’s influence or outright control. We know about “Made in China 2025,” a strategy designed to dominate key technology sectors – from artificial intelligence and quantum computing to hypersonic missiles and 5G.


We know about China’s practice of forced technology transfers: requiring American companies to share their trade secrets and R&D in order to do business in China. We know about China’s predatory trade practices.


We know many of these things only because President Trump has brought them to the forefront of national attention, for which he deserves credit. And the ongoing tariff war is a good thing in the sense that we’ve finally begun to take a stand.

Another effort to inform arrived last week in the form of a staff report from the U. S. Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, ineptly titled “Threats to the U.S. Research Enterprise: China’s Talent Recruitment Plans,” should have been titled: “China’s plans to rule the World Through the Theft of U.S. Technology.”

The report details “not only the lengths and expense China has gone to in order to steal American intellectual property, but also the shocking fact [that] our own federal agencies have done little to stop their actions despite being aware of [them].”

Its summary is chilling:

Some countries … seek to exploit America’s openness to advance their own national interests. The most aggressive of them has been China.


China primarily does this through its more than 200 talent recruitment plans – the most prominent of which is the Thousand Talents Plan. Launched in 2008, the Thousand Talents Plan incentivizes individuals engaged in research and development in the United States to transmit the knowledge and research they gain here to China in exchange for salaries, research funding, lab space, and other incentives.


China unfairly uses the American research and expertise it obtains for its own economic and military gain. In recent years, federal agencies have discovered talent recruitment plan members who downloaded sensitive electronic research files before leaving to return to China, submitted false information when applying for grant funds, and willfully failed to disclose receiving money from the Chinese government on U.S. grant applications.


This report exposes how American taxpayer-funded research has contributed to China’s global rise over the last 20 years. During that time, China openly recruited U.S.-based researchers, scientists, and experts in the public and sector to provide China with knowledge and intellectual capital in exchange for monetary gain and other benefits.


At the same time, the federal government’s grant-making agencies did little to prevent this from happening, nor did the FBI and other federal agencies develop a coordinated response to mitigate the threat.


These failures continue to undermine the of the American research enterprise and endanger our national security….


China aims to be the world’s leader in science and technology (“S&T”) by 2050.

A single example, multiplied by the thousands recruited under China’s “Thousand Talents Plan,” will suffice to reveal the danger. Last week, a Chinese national, working for Phillips 66, pleaded guilty to charges that he stole and sent to his communist bosses the company’s next-generation technology with a potential market value exceeding $1 billion. As John Demers, Assistant Attorney General for the U.S. Justice Department in its National Security Division, noted: “[Hingjin Tan’s] guilty plea continues to fill in the picture of China’s theft of American intellectual property.”

Sun Tzu is right: if that enemy can be deceived into helping it become an overpowering adversary, then his maxim – “the supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting” – will have been fulfilled. This is done, wrote Tzu, by “pretend[ing] inferiority while encourag[ing] his arrogance.” Once China, with the help of its perceived mortal enemy, the United States, has assumed overwhelming military advantage, Tzu celebrates its success: “Supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.”



History of Sun Tzu

Vindy.comPortman report accuses China of theft of US intellectual property

BreitbartChinese scientists pleads guilty to technology theft

Background on John Demers

.govThreats to the U.S. Research Enterprise: China’s Talent Recruitment Plans

Background on the Thousand Talents Program (white-washed version)

Amazon.comHundred-Year Marathon by Michael Pillsbury

Imprimus.Hillsdale.eduWhy and How the U.S. Should Stop Financing China’s Bad Actors by Roger Robinson

The New AmericanUnder the Guise of Investment, China Undermines U.S. Sovereignty

The New AmericanWith Western Help, Chinese Communists Build “New World Order”

The Free BeaconChina’s Secret Strategy Exposed

Quotes from Sun Tzu

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