Gordon Chang, an expert on China, has sounded the alarm about a Chinese threat facing the U.S. after reports that Beijing was paying bounties to kill American soldiers. This was done to encourage non-state actors in Afghanistan to attack and kill U.S. troops. “I don’t think we should be maintaining relations with any regime that wants to kill Americans… China has been harming Americans for a long time, and we have not responded… We need to establish deterrence… And we have failed to do that, from administration to administration,” he said in a Fox News program.
The “bounty” information was first reported by Axios, according to which the Trump administration is currently at work to declassify the intelligence. This information is said to have been included in the Dec. 17 president’s briefing. Security advisor Robert O’Brien verbally conveyed the information to the president. Axios received the information from two senior officials in the administration. They did not reveal whether the “non-state actors” refers to the Taliban or some other group. Though the exact timing of the bounty is unclear, it is said to have happened after late February when the Trump administration had succeeded in striking a deal with the Taliban. Prior to this event, Washington had received intelligence of an illicit flow of Chinese weapons into Afghanistan.
A spokesperson from the Chinese foreign military called the revelation “a smear and slander against China.” Chang noted that whether the report is true or not, China’s hostility toward America is a crystal-clear truth. He pointed out that China’s act of selling weapons to Afghanistan to kill U.S. soldiers parallels what happened in Iraq, where Beijing was selling weapons to Iraqi militants (to kill Americans). If the report is untrue, Chang believes that it could have come from a third party who wants to disrupt U.S.-China relations, possibly some elements in Afghanistan who have a strong opposition to the Chinese regime.
It would not be the first time that China has targeted American military personnel or government officers. Chang notes that in early 2018, China attempted to kill the crew of a U.S. C-130 military plane. Around the same time, there was an attempt to cause brain injuries to American diplomats who were working in the Guangzhou U.S. Consulate. U.S Secretary of State Mike Pompeo noted in a House Foreign Affairs Committee meeting that the symptoms displayed by the affected diplomats were consistent with what American diplomats experienced in Cuba in 2017.
Chang also feels that the CCP virus, which has since killed over 346,000 Americans, was deliberately released by the Chinese government. In an earlier interview with American Thought Leaders, Chang accused China of interfering in the U.S. presidential election with the sole aim of ousting Trump from office.
In China, talk of war has been on the rise. At a CCP Politburo Standing Committee meeting held on Nov. 30, discussions were held with regard to new military regulations so as to “prepare for war.” At the meeting, President Xi Jinping ordered the Military Commission departments to improve combat ability and coordination. Li Linyi, a U.S.-based China commentator, believes that the talk of war in China is largely propaganda. “The so-called war will not happen when the rhetoric of it is too high-profile. If you really want to fight a war, then it would not be publicized that much. The purpose of the high-profile war propaganda is to put some pressure on Taiwan and the United States. That’s it. At the same time, it [CCP] must satisfy the domestic nationalistic sentiments,” he told The Epoch Times.