CCP Works on an ‘Industrial Scale’ to ‘Capture Elites’ in Targeted Nations: Ex-Intelligence Officer

Epoch Times – by Venus Upadhayaya

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) operates on a massive and non-stop business-scaled operation to capture elites in the countries it considers important. These operations have made a lot of progress across the world including substantial captures in the United States, according to former intelligence officers and experts. 

“The Chinese Communist Party engages in [the] practice of elite capture. They put [an] immense amount of energy, [and an] incredible number of resources into targeting countries that are important to them. We are top of that list. And [they are] turning the elite in these countries into their will,” said Sam Faddis, retired CIA officer and Senior Fellow at the Center for Security Policy in an interview on China in Focus, a show on NTD TV, Epoch Times’ sister media.

The Chinese elite capture has recently made a lot of news in different parts of the world with former intelligence officers like Faddis, and geo-political analysts especially, raising an alarm, and some calling it cognitive warfare.

“This is not science fiction. This is all day, every day, on an industrial scale. They have made a lot of progress in that regard in [the] United States. As sad as that is, we have a lot of people in positions of power that in one way or the other, now are inclined to help Beijing against the interests of Washington, D.C., and that is sick,” Faddis told the show’s host, Tiffany Meier.

In another interview on the Seattle-based the Discovery Institute, Scott S. Powell, Senior Fellow, at the Institute’s Center on Wealth, Poverty and Morality said that “elite capture” has been mastered by the CCP and these efforts are more successful in “subverting America” than the previous efforts by Soviet Communists.

“While the CCP uses front groups for propaganda, they have mastered all manner of techniques, with an emphasis on infiltration, to influence, compromise, and co-opt elites so as to “capture” them. Typical targets include university professors and scientists, media executives and reporters, and political and corporate leaders,” said Powell in an interview on Oct. 24.

Elite capture, according to Powell first developed in China where the rural elites used their authority and influence to “monopolize” the planning and management of public development projects for personal gain at the expense of the larger population.

Today, the CCP uses it as a strategy of expansion for the Belt and Road Initiate (BRI) in the developing world, and in destabilizing developed countries, particularly the United States, said Powell.

“With China running a multi-billion-dollar trade surplus with the United States for many years, it has a huge stockpile of U.S. dollars to facilitate elite capture through generous funding of bribery, but also through granting access and favors within China,” said Powell.

A former chairman of India’s Joint Intelligence Committee, S.D. Pradhan, on Dec. 19 raised a similar alarm about the Chinese intentions in an article in the Times of India where he called the cognitive domain the “sixth domain of warfare” and said such operations are planned in-depth after collecting the necessary data.

“Specialized programs are designed for manipulation of the perceptions of the targets, and the narratives are bombarded heavily through the various channels to influence the cognitive domain of the targets and elicit the desired action,” said Pradhan, who is also India’s former deputy national security adviser.

Pradhan was talking about Chinese cognitive warfare targeting Indian political parties and said this kind of warfare is even more “harmful” than Chinese intrusions on India’s borders because it can weaken the state’s capability to take suitable action.

“They seek to influence and/or disrupt an opponent’s decision-making capability, to create doubts in the capabilities of the ruling regime, to foment anti-leadership sentiments, and to diminish the will to fight against China,” said Pradhan.

Faddis said elite capture is not a new concept and the intelligence world has been aware of it since long before.

“So, the problem is, they’re being pretty successful at it. A lot of our elite don’t want to face it. They love to point fingers at each other. They don’t like to talk about the overall problem,” said Faddis.

Powell said that when elites take the bait, over the course of time they find it tough to admit what is their fault and to extricate themselves. They even chose to see their interests as “interconnected” with or even “identical” to those of China.

“One explanation for why America is in such rapid decline with the woke normalization of censorship, cancel culture, division, unequal justice, and depravity is found in the theory of elite capture,” said Powell.
While recommending a solution, Powell quoted George Washington, and said Americans should heed what he said to the nation in his 1796 farewell speech: “Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellow-citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government.”

Epoch Times

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