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Marine vet Pentagon worker slams US in Chinese state-run news outlet

U.S. and China flags (U.S. Department of Agriculture/Flickr)
June 17, 2021

A retired Marine who currently works for the Pentagon wrote op-eds in April and May for Chinese state-run news outlet Global Times in which he slammed the U.S., including one titled, “Why US will lose a war with China over Taiwan island.” Last week, he doubled down on his decision to write for China’s outlet.

In his first piece, Franz Gayl said war between the U.S. and China was “imminent,” adding, “Once blood is drawn, the US will have few options. If the US elects to fight China over the island of Taiwan, then it will lose.”

Gayl went on to accuse the United States Congress of have “deeply conflicted” and “corrupt” interests in Taiwan, writing that the “reciprocal relationship between defense lobbyists, industry contributions, and a Caucus Member’s reelectability is well documented. The bipartisan support for increasing arms sales to Taiwan and even larger defense expenditures on the US Indo-Pacific Command are logical and transparent as all parties profit from the tension and war.”

According to the Washington Post last week, Gayl said he knew the op-ed would “get everybody’s attention,” but he doesn’t regret his decision to write it.

“If we don’t talk about this now, we are going to sleepwalk into this conflict,” Gayl said of a potential war between the United States and China. “I’m glad that I did it … but it was probably a step too far with the Marine Corps.”

Gayl also accused the US of meddling in China’s “internal affairs” when it comes to its “sovereign claims to Taiwan, Hong Kong, and surrounding seas.”

“Many Americans assume China’s citizenry longs for a liberal democracy like that on the island of Taiwan, and that war will trigger popular revolt. But the Taiwan question is not an ideological dispute. Rather it is a raw and painful open wound in China’s civilizational identity. Today, US othering of Chinese only fuels a fierce nationalism in its 1.4 billion citizens,” he wrote.

He suggested the US should “advise Taiwan’s secessionists to peaceably accept one country, two systems and cease its ‘independence’ ambitions.”

Gayl’s second op-ed titled “US ‘othering’ of Chinese could be prelude to Taiwan conflict” prompted the United States government to suspend the 64-year-old former Marine’s security clearances and launch a counterintelligence investigation to determine if he had been compromised.

The Post reported that several commenters on the articles accused Gayl of committing treason, highlighting the timing as particularly heinous considering heightened tensions between the two world powers, but the criticism didn’t bother Gayl.

Gayl did not submit the op-eds for the required prepublication review, according to representatives from both the Marine Corps and the Pentagon, the Post reported.