top of page
  • Chegan SRM

Chinese Communist Party: unrestricted warfare

Updated: Jan 28, 2023

Unrestricted warfare is a strategy practiced by both state and non-state actors, seeking to gain advantage over stronger opponents to compensate for weaker military forces. The first rule of unrestricted warfare is that there are no rules: no measure is forbidden. It involves multidimensional, asymmetric attacks on both every aspect of the ad for his social, economic, and political life.

Among the many means of attacks to exploit diverse errors of vulnerability include:

  • Cultural warfare by influencing or controlling cultural viewpoints within the adversary nation.

  • Financial warfare by subverting the adversaries banking system and stock market

  • Media warfare by manipulating foreign news media

  • Network warfare by dominating or subverting transnational information systems

  • Psychological warfare by dominating the adversary nations perception of its capabilities

  • Resource warfare by controlling access to scarce natural resources or manipulating their market value

  • Smuggling warfare by flooding and adversaries markets with illegal goods

  • Terrorism

The great Chinese strategist Sun Tzu theorized that the most efficient and devastating way to destroy a country or opponent was to "infect" and then rot the organization(s) from within.

"The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting" –Sun Tzu

Journalist Joshua Philipp explains China's doctrine to stir unrest in 'enemy countries' using the CCP expression, 'Strangle them with their own system'. He outlines how this approach works to cause disruption and unrest in target nations.

Politics: influencing and compromising politicians

The CCP has worked for decades to influence and compromise U.S. politicians at every level of government–all the way from school boards and city councils to the White House. In some ways the CCP uses honeytraps to lure politicians or their family members into compromising situations which the regime then uses to blackmail them. The CCP also uses so-called “soft power,” providing incentives to politicians to do its bidding.

Wall Street: using influence over Wall Street to shape policy

The Chinese communist regime has exerted influence over the Unites States for decades through tis “old friends” in Wall Street, a Chinese professor revealed in December 2020. Over the past 30-40 years, the CCP “took advantage of the core power circle in the United State,” said Di Dongsheng, associate dean of international studies at the Renmin University of China in Beijing. Di described Wall Street as exerting “a very strong influence on the U.S. domestic and foreign affairs in the 1970’s,” and that the regime leadership seeking to leverage this to their advantage, “figured out our path and those we could depend on,” he said.

Demoralization: demoralizing Americans through internal conflict

Communist regimes thrive on conflict. Pro CPP groups in the United States, such as the Freedom Road Socialist Organization and the Liberation Road, were among the first involved in the riots in across the United States in the summer of 2020. The CCP also conduct operations on social media to divide Americans. During the 2020 U.S. presidential elections, the CCP conducted an influence operation on Twitter that sought to sow discord.

Hollywood: controlling film studios

Over the past decade, Beijing has significantly expanded its influence in Hollywood by bankrolling top-tier films and using its massive market as lure. The CCP uses its poll to censor topics while simultaneously promoting anti-American narratives. “Hollywood now regularly senses its own movies to appease the Chinese Communist Party,“ then-Attorney General Bill Barr said on July 16, 2020. China’s Wanda Group owns the film studio Legendary and, up to 2018, held a majority stake in AMC Entertainment. Other US firms have entered joint ventures with Chinese studios.

Propaganda: spreading propaganda through state owned media

The CCP uses Chinese state and entities to publish its propaganda in the United States. Two of the main examples are China daily and state television CCTV. The China daily newspaper is delivered every day to the offices of all US congressman, for example. The CCP also uses US outlets such as the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal to publish its propaganda as advertising inserts. It also has radio stations in Mexico and Canada to broadcast its propaganda into the United States.

Censorship: exporting its censorship model

In China, or digital speech is controlled by the CCP. In recent years, the party has work to export its model of censorship around the world. One such example is the mobile chat at WeChat, which is popular among China’s diaspora. The app comes with similar censorship controls as those seen in China. Additionally, US social media platforms have been known to cater to the CCP‘s demands. According to Barr on May 28, 2020 these platforms sensor “particular content including, in many cases, at the direction of foreign governments like communist China”.

Business: co-opting business elite

US business leaders have become the “principal targets quote of Chinese influence operations in the United States, according to Barr. “Privately pressuring or cutting American corporate leaders to promote policies or US politicians presents a significant threat, “he said “hiding behind American voices allows the Chinese government to elevate its influence and put a ‘friendly face’ on pro-regime policies. “

Surveillance: surveilling Americans through technology

Chinese technology, both software and hardware, poses espionage risks since or Chinese companies are beholden to the party and must cooperate with intelligence agencies when asked. This risk applies to a range of products, from apps like TikTok to Chinese made Drones. Meanwhile, the US national counter intelligence and security center has warned that Chinese biotech firms like BGI, a genetics giant, have been collecting Americans’ healthcare data including DNA information, to advance the regimes own medical research.

Opioids: fueling a Deadly Drug Crisis

China is the largest source of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, and other fentanyl analogues that enter United States. Opioids (natural and synthetic) were the cause of 49,860 deaths in the United States in 2019, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There’s a Chinese regime has pledge to stem the flow of fentanyl into United States, U.S. officials have criticized Beijing for not taking active measures to crack down on fentanyl production and distribution in China.

Intellectual property: acquiring US technology by any means necessary

China’s state sanction campaign to acquire American technology involves both legal and illegal means. All society has been mobilized for these efforts, according to FBI director Christopher Ray. Besides hackers, researchers and company insiders have stolen US technology to benefit the regime. Chinese state-backed recruitment programs incentivize US researchers to transfer know-how and technology to the country. The FBI opens one China–related investigation every 10 hours, Wray said.

Media: influencing US media outlets

Media executives and journalist I’ve been targeted by Chinese groups with links to Beijing. CUSEF, a Hong Kong-based nonprofit link to the regimes influence efforts, has organized dozens of trips to China for journalists at more than 50 US outlets. It also has organized private dinners with media executives. U.S. media outlets have been incentivized not to publish content critical of the Chinese regime, out of fear that Beijing will retaliate by cutting the access to the Chinese market.

Pandemic: covering up an outbreak and causing a global crisis

For at least three weeks, Beijing knew about the severity of the CCP virus outbreak in a central Chinese city of Warren, but downplayed the crisis and suppressed any information at odds with the official narrative that the virus was containable. This cover-up allowed the virus to spread beyond China’s borders sparking a pandemic that has caused more than 2 million deaths and attended the global economy. In the early stages of the pandemic, China also stockpiled personal protective equipment (brackets PPE) from around the world. Later, when the outbreak worsened in other regions, the regime portrayed itself as a global savior as it donated or sold PPE to other countries.

Hacking: stealing trade secrets and Americans personal data.

Armies of state backpackers target US government agencies, companies, and research institutions for trade secrets and personal information. In 2018, two hackers working for China’s top intelligence agency were indicted for launching a massive campaign to steal data from farms spanning a range of industries. Chinese hackers have been behind massive cyber hacks in recent years–including intrusions on the US government’s personal agency, credit reporting agency Equifax, and health insurer Anthem–which resulted in the theft of personal information from tens of millions of Americans.

Education: infiltrating American campuses

Beijing funds Confucius institutes and classrooms – language and culture programs at colleges and K-12 classrooms, respectively – which have drawn scrutiny in recent years for spreading the Chinese regimes propaganda narrative and suppressing free speech.

The US Department of education also found that universities received almost $1.5 billion in contracts and gifts from China from 2014 to 2020. The Trump administration crackdown on Beijing’s efforts to steal American research by prosecuting academics who hit the links to China, barring entry to graduate students affiliated with the Chinese military, and targeting undercover Chinese military scientist working in the US schools.

Global Influence: undermining US alliances and building debt traps.

The Chinese regime seeks to grow its economic and military influence in the in the Indo-Pacific region, threatening the United States alliances there. It also aims to persuade developing countries that its authoritarian model is a viable path towards economic prosperity. Through its belt and Road initiative, the regime finances infrastructure projects through the south east and central Asia, eastern Europe, and Africa, and causes these countries to become heavily indebted to China. Meanwhile, it also exploits natural resources and strategic trade routes to its benefit.

International institutions: subverting United Nations and international bodies

The Chinese regime has expanded its influence at the United Nations and other international bodies, swaying their agendas. Chinese officials currently lead four out of 15 UN specialized agencies; By contrast, only one is led by a US official. Beijing’s influence over the world health organization undermines the world’s response to the pandemic. In early 2020, the health body uncritically repeated Chinese officials’ line that there was no human-to-human transmission of the virus, aided Beijing’s cover-up of the outbreak. Are you and Whistleblower also revealed that the office at the High Commissioner for Human Rights provided the names of dissidents to the Chinese regime.

Economy: ‘Rob, replicate, replace’ to weaken US economically.

Through subsidies and other unfair trade practices, the regime has propped up domestic companies to be leading global manufacturers, ranging from the steel to the pharmaceutical industries. With the help of an undervalued currency these firms then have an advantage when competing on the international market. Cheap Chinese goods, as well as counterfeits, are also dumped into foreign markets. Meanwhile, foreign firms face considerable barriers in excess in the Chinese market and must transfer their intellectual property as a condition for entry. The regime now aims to become the world’s high-tech manufacturing powerhouse under its “Made in China 2025” plan.

Do United States has become reliant on China for certain critical supplies, such as drug ingredients and rare earths, leaving it vulnerable to the regime’s economic coercion.

Diplomacy: spreading Beijing’s narratives

Dubbed “wolf warrior “diplomacy in reference to hit Chinese action films with nationalistic overtones, Chinese officials recently began using Weston social media platforms to verbally spar with critics of the regime auntie spread disinformation. In a week with the pandemic Chinese diplomats use inflammatory rhetoric to deflect criticism of Beijing’s mishandling of the outbreak in China. In 2020, the Trump administration ordered the closure of the Chinese Consulate Houston, stating that it was a “hub of spying and intellectual property theft”.

United front operations: controlling the Chinese diaspora

The Chinese regimes united front work department directs a vast network of overseas Chinese cultural and business groups, student groups and media to advance Beijing’s agenda and coerce us to do the same. Beijing especially targets a Chinese diaspora and precious Chinese citizens worldwide to serve “their homeland, “including by disseminating its narrative in Chinese language media around the world; suppressing dissidents’ movements; recruiting spies; and facilitating the transfer of tech innovations from foreign countries to China.

Unrestricted warfare is a dangerous strategy that has been increasingly used by the Chinese Communist Party to gain leverage over stronger opponents. It involves multidimensional, asymmetric attacks on every aspect of the adversary’s social, economic, and political life. It ranges from Cultural warfare and Financial warfare, to Network warfare and Resource warfare, as well as Terrorism, Propaganda, Censorship, Surveillance, Opioids, Intellectual Property, Media, Business, Pandemic, Hacking, Education, Global Influence, International Institutions, Diplomacy, and United Front Operations. The CCP’s goal is to weaken the United States economically, politically, and diplomatically, and the regime has engaged in a variety of tactics to achieve this goal. Although the United States must remain vigilant in monitoring and responding to these activities, it must also work to strengthen its international alliances, promote free trade, and ensure its own citizens are not subjected to Chinese influence operations.

See Also:


bottom of page