Image – Vision Foundation
Richard D. Fisher, Jr.： Senior Fellow, International Assessment and Strategy Center
July 29, 2022
First, I would like to thank the co-sponsors, the Overseas Chinese Democracy Coalition and the National Committee of the Chinese Democratic Party, for hosting this important symposium and for their giving me the honor of making some opening remarks.
I would also like to state my deep appreciation for the leadership, sacrifice, life’s work and example of determination offered by Wei Jingsheng, who’s essential 1978 essay The Fifth Modernization, continues to offer hope for Chinese and for humanity.
Over my 25-plus years watching and analyzing the freighting and soul-smothering hegemonic trajectory of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), I have often sought solace, psychological relief, in the positive imagination of a democratic China.
What if Mao Zedong had lost in 1949? What could have been China’s arc of development?
One might reasonably estimate that still, the Chiang Kai Shek regime would not have lasted for long, perhaps until the late 1950s or early 1960s, by which time it might have been succeeded by a democratic revolution, perhaps even a peaceful democratic revolution. One might speculate that a younger Chiang Ching Kuo would have been an active part of that transition.
Having started down the road of massive industrial development in the 1950s, it is reasonable to speculate that by the 1980s to 1990s that China would have become the world’s leading economy and perhaps the leading military power, but in broad cooperation with the democratic West, and its doing so might have accelerated the collapse of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
China’s ability to create vast economic opportunity in a post-Soviet Russia might have even helped to preclude the rise of the Neo-Communist Putin regime, instead providing a possible broader economic security that would have supported the development of real pluralistic institutions for the first time in Russian history.
Meanwhile, the rest of the world would have gotten used to a positive and generous brand of Chinese global leadership, in which a broad consensus based on national visions for individual freedom would have dampened military competition on Earth, perhaps leading to scientific and economic competition and cooperation in space, on the Moon and then beyond.
For sure, all Chinese as well as all other nations deserve to live their lives in such a world in which their aspirations for all around happiness and security for their families are assured.
But the reality of today is simply quite the opposite. For the first time since the demise of the Soviet Communist Party, the world is rushing toward the brink of global conflicts, even global nuclear conflict.
Today, those who live and thrive in the democratic nations face the real threat of the Chinese Communist Party and the Neo-Communists of Russia, finally joining in the alliance that eluded Stalin, Khrushchev and Mao, the creation of a joint nuclear threat as part of their parallel visions for global economic, political and military hegemony.
By their careful employment of deception, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping have largely concealed their joint nuclear strategies, which Western leaders are reluctant to acknowledge. But we have known for over a decade, at least of China’s desires to build a nuclear entente with Russia.
In addition, the CCP has made Pakistan, North Korea and soon, Iran, into nuclear missile states, with the ability to start wars that divert American and Western military resources, to create opportunities for the CCP to overwhelm democratic Taiwan.
Without an immediate compensating nuclear buildup by the United States and its nuclear allies, by the end of the 2020s the democracies will be overwhelmed by the China-Russia nuclear combine, and even before that happens both will embark on their conquest goals to achieve hegemony.
Russia’s two invasions of Ukraine are a result of the unwillingness of Western democratic leaders to acknowledge and to build against the imperialist threat from Russia.
When China is convinced of the weakness of the United States, Japan and Australia, which it abets by deception and multiple programs to weaken the democracies, it too will start to march. It will transition its current broad campaign of intimidation against Taiwan, Japan and Australia into an invasion of democratic Taiwan and active military campaigns against Japan, Australia and the United States.
For over three decades the CCP has been building influence networks in most countries on Earth, too often becoming a nation’s most important commercial partner, which then enables the CCP to corrupt generations of political and military officials, all corralled by China’s export of increasingly invasive information technologies that enable it to help select the next generation of leaders.
In 2021 by some counts, China had ownership to investments in 100 ports in 60 countries worldwide. This investment, whether made possible by the massive Belt and Road Initiative or not, comes when the People’s Liberation Army Navy has launched its third aircraft carrier and first “super carrier,” on the way to a 2040s fleet of about 10 aircraft carrier battle groups.
This will be married to a very large about 30 large-ship amphibious projection fleet and close to 200 large Y-20 air cargo transports, enabling the People’s Liberation Army to project ground forces around the world at time it may have nuclear weapons superiority.
In addition, starting in the early 2030s, assisted by Russia, the CCP will embark on a massive “occupation” of choice strategic and resource rich location on the Moon, as it builds toward its first manned missions to Mars, with an impressive Deep Space exploration program.
It is the CCP’s intention to establish hegemony over the Earth-Moon System to lock down its future hegemony on Earth, to make sure no other power on Earth can use access to Moon resources to build its way out of Chinese hegemony.
When I began writing about the PLA in the mid-1990s, we only vaguely discern the CCP’s global plans, but now they are fairly clear. The United States and the other democracies have precious little time to build compensating capabilities that might stave off disaster.
But all along, we truly need the dedication, activism and leadership from the global Chinese diaspora, and from those still in China, who understand that Chinese and the rest of the world will not obtain the real benefits of global peace until the Chinese Communist Party is made to peacefully disappear.
The real end of the Chinese Communist Party threat to the world must start with Chinese in China.