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Steve Bannon, Lt. Gens. Boykin and McInerney, others launch new group focused on China

Then-Chief White House Strategist Steve Bannon speaking at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)
May 16, 2019

A new independent organization formed by Washington policy advisers has emerged to focus on defending America from the growing threat of China.

“The Committee on the Present Danger: China” emerged late last month as a nonpartisan group set out to “educate and inform American citizens and policymakers about the existential threats presented from the People’s Republic of China under the misrule of the Chinese Communist Party,” according to the group.

The committee was inspired by the 1950s-era “Committee on the Present Danger,” a foreign policy interest group focused on educating the public on terrorism. The group was essentially abandoned during the Dwight Eisenhower administration, but did return for a time with a focus on the Soviet Union in the late 1970s.

“As with the Soviet Union in the past, Communist China represents an existential and ideological threat to the United States and to the idea of freedom—one that requires a new American consensus regarding the policies and priorities required to defeat this threat,” the Committee’s mission says.

At the Committee’s first roundtable discussion, figures such as Newt Gingrich, Sen. Ted Cruz, Rep. Chris Stewart and others spoke on the range of threats emanating from China, from their theft of U.S. technology, to growing military and nuclear capabilities, and even supplying most of the fentanyl reaching the U.S.

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Among the members on the group’s committee are former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, former International Security Affairs official Frank Gaffney, and American Strategy Group President Brian Kennedy, among numerous other former administration officials from defense and intelligence departments.

“It is necessary to bring to bear the collective skills, expertise and energies of a diverse group of experts on China, national security practitioners, human rights and religious freedom activists and others who have joined forces under the umbrella of the ‘Committee on Present Danger: China,’” the group added.

The group vows not to espouse a political ideology, instead driving itself with facts to expose the threat from China, including “accelerating military buildup; its active information and political warfare that targets the American people and our business, political and media elites; cyber warfare; and, economic warfare.”

America is “watching a revolution in strategic economic capabilities and a revolution in geographic location of power and all of it is being done while we sleepwalk,” Gingrich said at the first roundtable.

“We need multiple tools to combat the geo-political and geo-military threat that we face,” Cruz said.

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China has been an increasingly significant threat to the U.S., especially in the military, intelligence and cyber spheres.

Earlier this month, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan referred to China as the top threat to the security of the U.S.

“China is a threat economically and diplomatically. I think it’s time we address some of these issues – militarization of the South China Sea, the Communist Chinese Party launching cyberattacks against the U.S., theft of intellectual property, and a significant expansion of military capability,” Shanahan told Fox News.

Chinese hackers have also increased their efforts in gathering trade secrets and sensitive military data from both contractors and companies. Not only has China increased the frequency of its attacks, but the attacks have also become harder to detect.

In September 2018, the Trump Administration released a Cyber Strategy for the first time in 15 years, which named China as one of the greatest threats to U.S. cybersecurity.

“There is no hope of coexistence with China as long as the Communist Party governs the country,” the Committee stated.