President Trump’s national security adviser Robert O’Brien reportedly compared Chinese Communist Party Chairman Xi Jinping to Communist dictator Josef Stalin on Wednesday in a speech condemning China’s all-too-familiar brand of communism.
“The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is Marxist-Leninist. The party General Secretary Xi Jinping sees himself as Josef Stalin’s successor,” O’Brien said, according to Politico.
O’Brien said American policymakers wrongly assumed China would develop into a democracy as the country grew economically. Instead, China dug its heels in on their communist ideology. He went on to say that the United States “downplayed China’s gross human rights abuses, including Tiananmen Square.”
O’Brien also warned of the far-reaching influence and impact of the Chinese government, as “subtle pro-Beijing propaganda” has been heard on the radio by people in over a dozen American cities. According to O’Brien, the Chinese government is trying to “remake the world” in its image. He emphasized his concern by pointing out the numerous cases of hacking by the CCP in an effort to acquire information on Americans, including Anthem insurance, the Office of Personnel Management, Equifax and Marriot hotels.
By March of this year, the Chinese government echoed Stalin as they charged nearly 500 Chinese citizens for speaking out about COVID-19. The CCP has also locked up millions of Muslim Uighurs and other minorities in “reeducation camps where they are subjected to political indoctrination and forced labor, while their children are raised in Party-run orphanages.”
“This process annihilates family, religion, culture, language and heritage,” O’Brien said.
O’Brien offered Trump praise for his “decisive action” in combating Beijing by blocking Chinese companies from accessing Americans’ personal data and his decision to employ export and travel restrictions on Chinese companies and officials who help repress Muslim Uighurs and other minorities.
“We have deep respect and admiration for the Chinese people,” he said. “But the Chinese Communist Party does not equal China or her people.”
O’Brien’s speech is part of a Republican effort to portray Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden as weak on China. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Attorney General William Barr and FBI Director Christopher Wray will also hold speeches addressing China in the coming weeks.
Josef Stalin’s legacy
Communist dictator Josef Stalin has been characterized as the man who turned the Soviet Union from a backward country into a world superpower at unimaginable human cost.
“[Stalin and Hitler] chewed up the lives of human beings in the name of transformative vision of Utopia,” said Stanford historian Norman Naimark. “Both destroyed their countries and societies, as well as vast numbers of people inside and outside their own states. Both, in the end, were genocidaires.”
Stalin rose to power following the death of his predecessor Vladimir Lenin while advocating a policy of “Socialism in one country.”
In 1928, Stalin adopted state-organized industrialization. The move devastated the lower class, and within a few years, roughly 25 million households were forced to fuse with collective farms. Those who were uncooperative were arrested, shot, exiled, or forced into concentration camps where they were worked to death.
Lenin’s far-left collectivism caused famine throughout the Soviet Union, and rather than sending sustenance to his starving people, Stalin chose to continue exporting food for financial gain instead.
The famine came to be known as “Holodomor,” which is a combination of the words “hunger” and “extermination” in Ukrainian. It is estimated that nearly 10 million of Stalin’s own lower-class people died as a result of his collectivist policies.