'Beijing offers protection to the highest level of criminals in the world if they will deliver political objectives'
U.S. Army Civil Affairs podcast features The Bureau's investigations into China's interference and Canada's mounting integrity concerns
In recent years Jack Gaines, a Washington, D.C.-based national security consultant, invited me to make presentations to the U.S. military and intelligence community on my investigations into China’s leveraging of Triads, drug trafficking and money laundering against democracies including Canada.
Gaines, a reservist with the U.S. Army Civil Affairs Association, asked me to come on its One CA Podcast to expand onThe Bureau’s recent reporting on Beijing’s election interference, which will be consequential to Canada’s upcoming Foreign Interference Commission hearings.
Please click here, for a pre-release of the podcast — which will be released Feb. 30th for One CA’s audience.
As host for the Civil Affairs podcast, Gaines describes its mission as discussing how the U.S. government works “with a partner nation's people and leaders to achieve foreign policy goals.”
This discussion gets to the core of how China attempts to bring foreign governments under its control through political and economic warfare, and also how Canada’s vulnerabilities to Beijing have undermined trust with our allies in the Five Eyes.
I told Gaines that I believe Canada’s standing with the U.S., Britain and Australia has been degraded due to China’s interference in the past two federal elections, and Ottawa needs to make serious reforms to bring Canada back into the circle of trust.
Below is the transcribed introduction to our 32-minute conversation, which can be heard in this link.
After reading your book, Wilful Blindness, one thing came to me and that is that it looks like China has successfully mixed profiteering and foreign policy so that they can successfully tie the profits from narcotics to influence and persuasion in countries to achieve their foreign policy goals.
I had John Cassara on recently, and he talked about that China has probably half of the global illicit trade profit coming into it, and when people measure China, they measure its GDP.
They don't measure that black economy, because most of it goes right back out into the world, to fund these illicit criminal groups that are also complicit with the PRC, and the money that goes to the pockets of the people willing to take the influence dollars, to do what PRC wants.
But it was really your book that opened that perspective, and it sounds like what you're seeing is the tuning of that process, and how they're really bringing it to bear, to see how far they can go in being successful and moving a country's orbit into the PRC influence space.
Yeah, I agree with everything you said there, and thank you for saying that.
I do think my book had a little bit of a cognitive advance in showing people that when we're speaking about the mercantilism of the People's Republic of China and the trade mixed into that by design, I believe is trade-based money laundering, in which of course there are some honest tycoons within China's system, but there are many that have both legitimate and also underground [businesses] — casino facilitation and capital flight facilitation, direct narcotics trafficking, weapons.
But China doesn't look at those people as, the government should have a distance from them. China sees those people as ones that have connections abroad, ones that have great influence in diaspora communities.
And businesspersons that are involved in organized crime in Beijing's playbook, should be used to influence foreign politicians that are looking for votes in the Diaspora.
Do you think that Xi Jinping and the PRC allow a certain amount of wealth and influence, or affluence, in these people that are expats around the world, in exchange for conducting these type of operations?
Yes. I think there's a lot going on, and I'm always trying to clarify my understanding, but some have coined the term ‘strategic corruption.’
This is what we saw in Ukraine for years, before Putin made his move.
We saw the oligarchs and the tycoons, people like Semion Mogilevich, had great control over the Ukrainian resource industries.
A person named Boris Birshtein, who settled in Toronto and was a major underground banker and money launderer with connectivity to the KGB.
So we've seen this playbook in Ukraine, having people with gang connections or direct intelligence connections, corrupt foreign governments and try to pave the way.
And I think China is doing a bigger and even more sophisticated variation on that now, where they want people that are, as I've reported in Canada, we have major real estate developers.
Major portions of Vancouver and Toronto are in fact Chinese or Hong Kong money. And these big real estate developers, there's no question that Beijing has relationships with them that they will be protected in their illegitimate business activities, if they deliver objectives to Beijing.
And there's so much more going on.
But yes, in a nutshell, Beijing offers protection to the highest level of criminals in the world if they will deliver political objectives, wherever they are.
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