What kind of world does the Communist Party of China want? How can we know what they are thinking? These questions are the subject of “How Xi Jinping’s ‘New Era’ Should Have Ended U.S. Debate on Beijing’s Ambitions,” a report by National Intelligence University professor Dan Tobin that was originally published as testimony to Congress. This episode uses Tobin’s research as a starting point to discuss a web of issues at the core of Western attempts to understand the Chinese system. We talk about why Western analysts often struggle to understand the Communist Party, which parts of the “China watching” world are most successful doing this, and why any of this should matter to the “average” American citizen with no particular stake in China.
Joining me (Tanner Greer) to discuss this report is Peter Mattis. Mattis is a Senior Fellow at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute and most recently was the Senate-appointed staff director at the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, where he was part of the legislative team that passed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act, and the Tibetan Policy and Support Act. He is the coauthor of Chinese Communist Espionage: An Intelligence Primer and the author of Analyzing the Chinese Military: A Review Essay and Resource Guide on the People’s Liberation Army (2015).
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The main thing: Dan Tobin, “How Xi Jinping’s ‘New Era’ Should Have Ended U.S. Debate on Beijing’s Ambitions,” 13 March 2020.
(Testimony prepared for Hearing on ‘A “China Model?” Beijing’s Promotion of Alternative Global Norms and Standards,’” § U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission).
Peter’s twitter: @PLMattis.
Other things mentioned:
Tanner Greer, “The World That China Wants (III): Taking Chinese Communism Seriously” (29 July 2020).
—, “Xi Jinping in Translation” (31 May 2019).
Xi Jinping, Report to the 19th Party Congress (October 2017).
Ernst May, Knowing One’s Enemies (1986).
State Council Information Office, “China’s Political Party System: Cooperation and Consultation” (June 2021).
Frank Dikotter, “The Silent Revolution: Decollectivization from Below during the Cultural Revolution,” (2016).
Joshua Eisenman, Red China’s Green Revolution Technological Innovation, Institutional Change, and Economic Development Under the Commune (2018).
Yang Jisheng, The World Turned Upside Down: A History of the Chinese Cultural Revolution (2021).
Document 9 (2013).
Jie Dalei “Ideology and US-Sino Competition” (9 May 2020)
Sebastian Rotella Berg Kirsten, “Operation Fox Hunt: How China Exports Repression Using a Network of Spies Hidden in Plain Sight,” (22 July 2021)
Kit Chellel, Franz Wild, and David Stringer, “When Rio Tinto Met China’s Iron Hand.” (13 July, 2018).
Rush Doshi, The Long Game: China’s Grand Strategy to Displace American Order (2021).
Samantha Hoffman, Programming China: The Communist Party’s Autonomic Approach to Managing State Security (2017).
State Department materials on civil military fusion (2017-18).
2017 National Intelligence Law
WeChat censorship abroad
Censorship of Chinese language radio stations in the west
Censorship of Chinese language newspapers in the west
Independent Federation of Chinese Students and Scholars
Chinese Students and Scholars Associations
Nortel hacking attack
Cyber-espionage in the Windmill market
“For our enemies, we have shotguns.”
China’s 14 demands for Australia
Historian Kenneth Pyle