An integral part of China’s Belt & Road strategy involves the countering and shaping of ideas. The sophisticated manipulation of information is utilized to entice membership in the BRI, “sell” projects to the Host country, and engender geopolitical support for China throughout the international community. This program is aimed at developing better understanding of the nature and extent of China’s influence campaigns (often called “political warfare”), which are leveled at not only the U.S. but also those countries Beijing has now persuaded to join the BRI. This is an especially important challenge for the legal and business communities, as a key weapon in the Political Warfare arsenal is “Lawfare” which being used is to upend the rule of law and concept of human rights as we understand it today. China’s political warfare is little understood as its matrix is immensely complex and highly deceptive by design. This program provides an overview of China’s political warfare goals, history, terminology, organization, and sophisticated global operations. It also addresses steps being taken to counter this malign influence, as well as others that can be implemented.
• What are the purposes and scope of China’s influence operations?
• What is China’s capacity to execute political influence or information campaigns?
• How do you identify a political influence/warfare operation?
• Recent case studies of Covid-19-related influence campaigns initiated against private sector companies and organizations, national governments, and individual political leaders.
• How do national governments and private sector organizations counter political influence campaigns?
David F. Day, Esq., Chair, Belt & Road Task Force, ABA International Law Section
Prof. Kerry G. Gershaneck, Professor and Taiwan Fellow at the National Chenghi University in Taipei, Taiwan. Recognized global expert on Political and Information Warfare and author of the forthcoming book, “Political Warfare: Strategies for Combating China’s Plan to ‘Win without Fighting.’”(Marine Corps University Press, 2020)
Dr. Samantha Hoffman, a Senior Analyst with the Australian Strategic Policy Institute in Canberra and that organization's Cyber Centre. She is a global expert on China’s technology-enhanced political, social, and influence control efforts. She has written for Foreign Policy, The Hill, War on the Rocks, The National Interest, China Brief, Forbes, and Jane’s Intelligence Review. She has been widely quoted in the media on China’s security state and politics, including The New York Times, The Economist, BBC, ABC (Australia), Foreign Policy, Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Financial Times, Science Magazine, and WIRED.