The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has come to dominate the United States, influencing politicians, former diplomats, silicon valley, Wall Street financiers, universities, NBA players and much more. Peter Schweizer documents this influence in great detail in his recent 2022 book, “Red Handed: How American Elites Get Rich Helping China Win.” In it, he names the politicians, financiers, companies, etc., showing the conflicts of interests and corruption problems the nation is facing from those who profit off of cultivating ties to the dictatorial regime, doing their bidding in exchange for financial gain.
As we come to see, this has disastrous implications for America’s national security and sovereignty, as powerful individuals sell out the country in what has become a trend for many others to follow. On Capitol Hill, from politicians to diplomats, we see a common pattern: these officials have connections, almost always financially beneficial, to Chinese Communist Party leaders. While it’s not appropriate for our purposes here to write every instance, we’ll turn our attention to one.
Schweizer documents one of Yale’s most notable donors, Joe Tsai, whose millions have funneled into the university through a series of complex entities that obfuscate the origins of the funds—”Federal law requires American universities to disclose any foreign donations to the U.S. Department of Education,” however, Yale has tried to cover up the origins of those funds. Disclosing the funds are important for evident reasons, as foreign influence jeopardizes the independent integrity that should be sustained by any educational institution by putting the institution at the behest of a foreign entity, surely to influence the culture and curricula; but not even Yale is immune to China’s influence.
Joe Tsai was the former chief financial officer and later the executive vice chairman of Alibaba, a technology company linked to the CCP founded by billionaire Jack Ma. “The Alibaba governance structure is probably inspired by the Chinese political structure,” says former banker David Webb. The company is not run by the shareholders but by carefully chosen corporate leaders. “The shareholders are equivalent to the People,” Webb adds, “who have no say in how their country is run.”
This is significant to understand because Tsai is responsible for the company’s organization and is indicative of both his feelings toward the Chinese dictatorship and the company’s aid in establishing surveillance within the state. Alibaba is a “big backer of Megvii, which developed software that the New York Times reported is a vital part of the ‘vast, secret system of advanced facial recognition to track and control the Uighurs.’”
Schweizer writes that:
“The communist government is constructing a giant technological web in which ordinary citizens will be monitored, tracked, and graded concerning what they say and do. The better they ‘behave,’ as defined by the Beijing regime, the higher their scores. The higher the score, the better opportunities the individual will have in society. Tsai believes this is a great development. ‘Especially for young people, your online behavior goes toward building up your online credit profile, and we want people to be aware of that so they know to behave themselves better,’ he says.”
Tsai’s company owns patents ‘for tools that can detect, track, and monitor Uighurs in a move human rights groups fear could entrench oppression of the Muslim minority.’”
It comes as no surprise then that scholars at the Tsai Center at Yale, “also minimize the totalitarian nature of the ‘social credit’ system being developed by the Beijing regime.” An article written by Tsai Center senior fellow and former executive director Jamie Horsley, “China’s Orwellian Social Credit Score Isn’t Real,” explains away the system contrary to the evidence. “Its essence is compliance with legally prescribed social and economic obligations and performing contractual agreements,” Horsely writes.
This kind of whitewashing and totalitarian apologetics is unsurprising in a university that accepted $30 million from one of China’s most powerful businessmen. As Schweizer’s book shows us, China doesn’t just give money without strings attached, but implicit in their giving is a quid pro quo—something that not even the current president and his family is exempt from.
Joe Tsai also owns the Brooklyn Nets, and is responsible for Daryl Morey getting fired after he criticized the regime. In a tweet regarding the protests in Hong Kong, Morey wrote, “Fight for Freedom, Stand with Hong Kong.” This sparked backlash from not only Tsai, but also Lebron James, who has a lucrative deal with Nike, a self-proclaimed “for China” company, and so tweeted in defense of the regime calling Morey “misinformed” and uneducated.
But why is this important and what does it mean for the U.S., aside from the obvious conflict of interest that educational institutions like Yale face between actually promoting free speech and using that idea as “shields for University administrators from speaking out against people like Joseph Tsai,” as one ethnically Tibetan student told the Yale Daily News.
What Tsai fails to criticize of the Beijing regime, he makes up for in criticizing the United States.
“Tsai’s philanthropic interests appear to operate in congruence with what Chinese authorities are doing: widely repressing individual freedom in their own country while equating them with American civil rights issues. In August 2020, Joe Tsai donated $50 million through the Joe and Clara Foundation to various activist groups in the United States to ‘advance social justice and economic mobility for Blacks, Indigenous people, and people of color.’ His Brooklyn Nets gave $10 million more to the NBA Foundation to carry out similar work. The ‘Social Justice Committee Statement’ accompanying the donations explained the need for ‘antiracist’ training. His wife, Clara, remarked: “When it comes to dismantling systemic racism and economic inequality in our communities, we want to lead by example.’ Joe Tsai even set up a ‘gathering space for Black Lives Matter’ in the plaza of the Barclays Center, where the Brooklyn Nets play.”
It appears that the CCP wants to create systematic change here in America resembling that of China, if not controlled by China. And they’re doing this by masquerading their plans as ‘social justice,’ while the glaring hypocrisy eludes Americans who think of this as noble. Amongst the vast influences that the Beijing regime is wielding on Congress, Wall Street, the education system and the cultural and social institutions that Americans partake in, the United States is ever closer to being a puppet nation, where even the president and his family are willing accomplices.
While China “has a deplorable, farcical system of ‘justice,’ which features incarceration without trial, torture, and other issues,” Tsai’s wife is a co-founder of “Reform Alliance,” a U.S. nonprofit “focused on reducing the prison population and helping criminals reenter society.” This is rich coming from a husband and wife who refuse to give attention to the Uighurs who are unjustly imprisoned.
Professor emeritus at Harvard, Joseph Nye, says that “Prominent Chinese entrepreneurs would not make these gestures without permission from the Communist Party. China has used a government-sponsored propaganda campaign and aid programs to promote the theme that China’s behavior had been benign, and to restore its soft power.” He also says that the philanthropy is tied to a “highly orchestrated propaganda operation.”
The source for this article was “Red Handed: How American Elites Get Rich Helping China Win” by Peter Schweizer, 2022.