Under President Xi Jinping, a newly-assertive China is pursuing a sophisticated “whole-of-society” strategy that exploits all elements of state power to strengthen its position in the world and diminish U.S. power and influence.
China uses all of the traditional tools of the state to exert influence: an expanded military presence, and the aggressive deployment of espionage to steal military, and industrial secrets.
But it’s also using more creative mechanisms—that take advantage of its authoritarian model to force Chinese companies, researchers, and others to act on behalf of China’s national interests. In 2015 and 2016, China enacted new laws requiring all Chinese citizens and companies to act in support of “national security” and the Chinese government.
All of this has set the stage for China to aggressively deploy every lever of power in service to the state—and, at the same time, exploit the openness of our society to gain geopolitical and economic advantage.