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Peter Schweizer: China Targeting ‘Districts in the Heart of Trump Country’ to Meddle in 2018 Midterms

File photo taken in November 2017 shows U.S. President Donald Trump (R) and Chinese President Xi Jinping attending a welcome ceremony in Beijing. Trump announced tariffs on $60 billion of imports from China on March 22, 2018, in response to what he sees as China's unfair trade and investment practices. …
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Government Accountability President and Breitbart News Senior Editor-at-Large Peter Schweizer warned of the Chinese government’s political influence operations within America during a Monday interview with Breitbart News Editor-in-Chief Alex Marlow on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Daily.

Marlow invited Schweizer’s comments on President Donald Trump’s repeated highlighting of the Chinese state’s attempts to interfere in forthcoming midterm elections.

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“What about [Trump’s] claim that China is trying to meddle in the United States’ elections?” asked Marlow.

“I think it’s absolutely accurate,” replied Schweizer. “All you have to do is look at very simple things that they’re doing. They’re taking out ads in newspapers that specifically talk about the president’s trade policies and how damaging they are, and they’re taking them out in districts or in media outlets that are specifically in congressional districts that are competitive.

Schweizer said the Chinese state feels its stability is threatened by the Trump administration’s trade policies.

“China recognizes that there are huge costs here for them [in the 2018 midterms],” remarked Schweizer. “Those stakes are just as high for the Chinese because they realize that the approach Trump is taking on trade policies represents a direct challenge to their business model.”

Schweizer added:

Their business model is [wanting] an authoritarian — if not totalitarian — government at home, and [they] want high economic growth the keep the peace and expand [their] power. They get high economic growth by exporting large quantities of products to the United States and protecting their market from the equivalent in U.S. goods. If that possible gets disrupted, it fundamentally threatens the health and stability of the Chinese regime. We cannot underestimate that.

Schweizer recalled China’s support of then-President Bill Clinton’s re-election campaign in 1996 as illustrative of the authoritarian state’s ongoing efforts to shape American public opinion.

Schweizer credited Trump with breaking political taboos on the international stage and emboldening government officials abroad to criticize China’s global projection of its power.

“There are countries around the world that want to stand up to the Chinese, but up until Trump became president, they were afraid to,” noted Schweizer. “Natural rivals [of China’s] who looked at the fact that China was aggressively expanding [and] pushing its agenda.

Schweizer added:

[Foreign politicians] finally see somebody in Washington who is calling out China, and somebody who is willing to say publicly what a lot of people have thought for awhile, but didn’t want to express in international diplomatic meetings. I think it’s hugely healthy conversation. We talk all the time … about how Trump has brought to the fore and led to this national conversation on subjects that everybody knew we needed to talk about but nobody wanted to say the first sentence — whether it’s social justice warriors or matters of race and identity politics — same thing applies on the international stage.

Schweizer went on, “Countries around the world like Vietnam and India who have these simmering disputes, concerns, and anxieties about China finally feel like they have somebody in Washington who sees the world that they do, at least on this subject.”

Schweizer said both the Bush and Obama administrations were “essentially letting the Chinese do what they wanted to do” in Washington, DC.

Schweizer is the author of Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends, which highlights the Chinese state’s efforts to procure political influence within America via business relationships with politicians’ family members.

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