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‘The Democratic Party Is America’s Pro-China Faction’: An Interview With Lee Smith About ‘China: The Enemy Within’

  • February 23, 2022
  • /   The Daily Wire
  • /   News
The Democratic Party Is Americas Pro-China Faction An Interview With Lee Smith About China The Enemy Within

Best-selling author Lee Smith has produced The Daily Wire’s new series, “China: The Enemy Within.” Over his 30-year career, the veteran journalist has written numerous books and been published by The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal, among other publications. He is also a frequent guest on talk radio and TV, including regular appearances on Fox News. Smith recently discussed his new series with Daily Wire reporter Ben Johnson. The text of their interview has been lightly edited for grammar and clarity.

Ben Johnson: Lee Smith, you’re helming The Daily Wire’s new documentary series, “China: The Enemy Within.” China is clearly a global adversary, which is plotting to displace the United States as a global superpower. But people might be intrigued by the second half of that title. Who’s the enemy within?

Lee Smith: The enemy within is the main enemy: That is the American oligarchy, sweeping across everything from Big Tech to the NBA, Hollywood — the entire cultural apparatus of the United States. It would also include the art world, which makes a tremendous amount of money off of China. What we’re describing here is an enormous network of American elites who draw their wealth, power, and prestige from their relationship with the Chinese Communist Party. That’s the actual enemy — among other reasons, because it’s virtually impossible to get to the Chinese Communist Party without going after our internal adversaries first, because they are embracing them. There is no way for Americans to face down Beijing, since our elites are protected.

Ben Johnson: For a long time, they had a fig leaf of American foreign policy covering their own class interests. Certainly, going back to President Richard Nixon’s decision to capitalize on the Sino-Soviet split, the opening of China worked to America’s geopolitical benefit. It was only at the fall of the Soviet Union that China truly acquired the means to become a global superpower — all of which was funded by U.S. trade deals, as you point out so clearly in the very beginning of your series. What role did America play in building up its own enemies?

Lee Smith: There is no powerful Chinese Communist Party without the United States. As you point out, Ben, it was a reasonable policy goal at a certain period to build up the Chinese as a wedge against the more powerful Communist Party at the time, which was that of the Soviet Union. However, at a certain point, we saw that American political, corporate, cultural, and academic elites were no longer talking about foreign policy.

You can speak to different people who have worked on China. They correctly point out that it was a post-war foreign policy goal of the United States to go in and to establish economic ties with different states, to help lure them into the Western column. We tried the same thing in Italy, working with the Italian socialist to try to wrest them away from the Italian Communists: We opened our doors to South Korea, Japan, and a number of different states. Trying to work with the Chinese, to lure them into the Western column makes a certain amount of sense, up to a point. But there was nothing that helps American national security about exporting our manufacturing base to China, and that’s what happened. So, the elites are still using the whole post-World War II foreign policy as an excuse. They’ll say, “We’re in there with China, and it’s going slow. But we’ve been at it for 50 years, and we’re seeing some things change. Look for instance, I mean, for goodness sake, Beijing is hosting the winter Olympics right now.” That’s not a, a pro-Western thing, inviting the world to celebrate these games in China.

It’s the Americans, it’s our establishment who is defending this relationship. And this is one of the things that the Chinese understood. Once the American elites are given a stake, they would defend China by default, since they had to defend themselves. They had to cover their own flanks and in doing so, they would wind up covering for Beijing.

Ben Johnson: As you mentioned, the idea behind opening up China to trade was that there was an inextricable link between democracy and commerce: If we could democratize their markets, the Chinese would somehow democratize elections and liberalize their laws. When it comes to freedom of speech, freedom of political expression, etc., that clearly hasn’t worked — in fact, China is becoming increasingly belligerent under Xi Jinping, who many people believe has neo-Maoist tendencies. However you describe a two-fold war, both of China against the United States, but also a war of American elites against the middle class. How will the American elites profit from this ongoing relationship with China, and how is it hurting average Americans?

Lee Smith: Well, it’s hurting average Americans not least because of the number of jobs that have been sent overseas. Everybody talks about the Chinese miracle, which is basically 400 to 500 million Chinese peasants who were taken off the land and given working-class or middle-class jobs. What people don’t talk about is that it came at the expense of American workers. Look around and see what America still makes; it’s shocking. We started to see some of this during COVID-19, when people realized we actually don’t make any of our own pharmaceuticals here anymore. People started to realize all of this personal protective equipment that’s supposed to help protect people from viruses like SARS-CoV-2, as it turns out, that’s all made in China. This is the way that it’s really hurting Americans.

The other point is this: It’s not just hurting working- and middle-class Americans in terms of jobs: It hurts our national security. That hurts all of us, all Americans across the board. What is it that the United States makes now? These are fundamental questions about the power of a country. What is a country capable of doing? What do we still make? What do we manufacture? Then we listen to all of the cliches we’ve been hearing for the last 30 years: “Well, we don’t really manufacture anything anymore. We’re a service economy now.” This doesn’t work in terms of how the world actually functions. If we were ever in the middle of a conflict — say a real shooting war with the Chinese Communist Party — and all of our pharmaceuticals, including penicillin, are made in China, what does that mean for the national security of the United States? It means that we are extraordinarily vulnerable. The different problems that we have are multileveled, multilayered, and they have come about because of how our corporate and political leaders have handed over American wealth, American power to the Chinese Communist Party to empower themselves.

Unfortunately, we have to talk about something else and that is: Our establishment, as we’ve certainly seen since the beginning of the Trump presidency, is at war with working- and middle-class Americans. This is what they mean when they say that they’re fighting against populism. We’re just Americans, right? We want to advance American interests. We want good things for our families, our communities, for our country. The oligarchy’s on the other side of that. That’s not where their money is; that’s not where their interests are. So, we have as Americans, we have a two-front conflict involving the Chinese Communist Party, as well as our oligarchy. The way our oligarchs see it, China is their strategic center of gravity against America’s working and middle classes.

Ben Johnson: Of course, after our manufacturing base was exported, we were told the best way to get ahead and realize the American dream was to get a good college education. Today, there are millions of Chinese also reaping the benefits of American academia for illicit purposes. In “China: The Enemy Within,” you point out that this ranges everywhere from American professors who’ve been paid off as spies for China, to the establishment of Confucius Institutes all over the country, or for that matter even exchange students who have been placed in American universities as spies. Perhaps the most famous spy of recent days is Fang Fang, who reportedly seduced Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) while posing as a student at California State University. Could there be thousands more Fang Fangs in American universities?

Lee Smith: Yes, there are. I’m very happy, Ben, that you raised this, because this is the fundamental issue, and this again, shows the network of interests of the American establishment. The FBI is alerted all the time about the number of Chinese spies and the amount of espionage that’s going on at universities across the country, and sensitive research sites. The fact is there are 13,000 FBI agents who have to cover all foreign actors and terror groups. And unfortunately, as we know, they’re spending a lot of time targeting Americans — targeting Donald Trump’s supporters, for instance. But let’s say the FBI is actually doing its job focusing on criminal enterprises and foreign threats within the United States. It has 13,000 agents: That’s not enough to cover the hundreds of thousands of Chinese student visa holders there are in the United States.

Why did that happen? Because of a combination of corporate interests, mostly Big Tech, as well as the universities, and American legislators providing more and more visas so that corporations could hire foreign students on the cheap. Whenever you hear someone complaining about the dearth of STEM students in the United States, that’s because they were priced out of the market by bringing in foreign students. We complain again and again about how it’s dangerous for national security not to have enough STEM students, but that was done intentionally to make it better for corporations. And of course the universities like it, too, because a lot of these foreign students are paying full tuition, far more than in-state tuition, while a lot of American students are getting some sort of financial aid.

The whole thing is set up to make it impossible to disentangle the American establishment from Chinese Communist Party elites. It’s not that difficult to see what the problems are, who has a stake in it, and how to try to start to disentangle these interests, to preserve the integrity and sovereignty of our great country.

Ben Johnson: You also point out the political component of this. Quite often, politicians or their families have their own financial deals — either above board, through investing in China or, in some cases, potentially sub rosa through alleged political kickbacks, as well.

Lee Smith: You might remember a few years ago, when the FBI was looking at Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) to see if Chinese officials or businessmen had contributed money to her political campaign. Of course, she was outraged, and the FBI was quite apologetic for suggesting any such thing. Look, Dianne Feinstein’s husband, Richard Blum, was a multimillionaire and a lot of his money comes from his trade inside Communist China. So, the idea that somehow the Chinese businessmen needs to kick in $15,000 into Dianne Feinstein’s campaign is ridiculous. It’s about it’s about who they’re getting their money from. The high-profile figures from the Democratic Party’s largest pools of donors — Big Tech, Wall Street, and Hollywood — are all tightly networked into China. Indirectly, much of that money comes from China. And that’s why I refer to the Democratic Party, as it is structurally, as America’s pro-CCP faction. It’s not just what the Chinese are pouring into the system: It’s what Americans are doing, thanks to their own financial and political relationships with Beijing.

Ben Johnson: You mention the work of Miranda Devine, whom I’ve previously interviewed, who said Hunter Biden’s laptop shows deep financial ties to the Chinese government. You also mention the Chamber of Commerce faction of the Republican Party — which, in many people’s minds, could be surnamed Bush. Unfortunately, the problem of our elites’ connections with the CCP is not confined simply to one family, or even exclusively one party.

Lee Smith: It’s not simply one family. People have done very important work to show that the Bidens are in the middle of this, taking a cut. But the reality is we’re talking about an enormous establishment, right? It’s not just one family. I’ve written about this extensively. If you look at the Biden administration, you see all sorts of different connections, very unpleasant connections, whether it’s the director of the CIA, the chief military strategist at the Pentagon, the secretary of state, the office of the director of national intelligence — all of these people have professional or financial relationships with the Chinese Communist Party. But the key, the most important thing is the structure. It’s the networks. The Democratic Party is America’s pro-China faction. This is certainly not to exculpate different Republicans, either historically or at present, like the Bush family — it is not to exculpate them at all. But what I think that our series, “China: The Enemy Within,” does a great job at is showing the structure, showing this broad, disgusting cross-section of American industry, institutions. and individuals who are so tightly wound in to the CCP.

Ben Johnson: As you go into in your excellent documentary, one of those relationships involved the Wuhan Institute of Virology. You could argue, in many ways, the American taxpayers funded their own pandemic lockdown for the last two years. What can you tell us about that?

Lee Smith: It appears the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases headed by Dr. Anthony Fauci did, indeed, pay for gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. So if that’s true, in effect, Dr. Fauci used American taxpayer funds for what turned into a weapon of mass destruction that poisoned Americans. And this is really emblematic of what’s been going on for decades. Our establishment, our oligarchy, has seen China as its center of gravity, and they don’t care how much this hurts Americans. This is the apotheosis of what has been going on now for decades.

Ben Johnson: All of this brings to mind a phrase an old friend always used: “That’s not selling out; that’s buying in.” For 20 years or longer, U.S. citizens have watched America’s China policy unfold and said, “Our China policy isn’t working.” Do we need a paradigm shift, not that our China policy is not working, but that it is working for the benefit of very small niche of Americans at the top of the socioeconomic pyramid?

Lee Smith: Yes, absolutely. It’s very hard to appeal to these people’s patriotism, because they don’t really care about this country — we’ve seen that clearly over the last several years — and again, this is one of the things that COVID showcases perfectly. It’s shocking the number of American institutional investing firms that are taking a position on Chinese biotech, which is basically going to building China’s bio weapons program. Americans’ money is being used for this, even after COVID. But I think the solutions are rather simple: You have to hit them where it hurts, and where it hurts these people is with money. You have to say, “You’re not going to be able to use China’s slave labor. You’re not going to be able to get away with the environmental catastrophes that you get away with in China. We’re going to legislate it, and we’re going to regulate it. And you’re not going to be able to afford the fines, and you’re not going to want to do the jail time.” The appeal cannot be, I believe, to human rights, to talk about the Uighur population in China. God bless these poor people, but they’re the slave labor that a lot of American manufacturers use for their goods. It’s disgraceful and disgusting, but unfortunately, you’re not going to be able to get the attention of American companies by talking about the Uighurs right now.

Americans also are wondering, “What about us? We’ve lost our jobs.” What we have in exchange is fentanyl — that’s what the Chinese have given us in exchange for our jobs. To get the American people on side, we have to speak very directly and say, “No, no, we’re going to make these people hurt. These people who have hurt you, we’re going to hurt them. They’re going to bring manufacturing back home, and they’re going to pay for this.” Policymakers are going to have to step up, and we are going to need people who speak directly about this, because there’s a lot of donor money that doesn’t want to hear about it. So, the appeal has to be made directly to the American people: “Here’s how I’m going to help get our jobs back.” This is what Donald Trump spoke about in 2016. That message resonated with the American public, and it will continue to resonate. And especially now, after the China virus has devastated the United States — in cooperation, of course, with our own public health bureaucrats.

Ben Johnson: You’ve given us a clear idea of what non-elites can do to take back our foreign policy, an idea the policies that need to be implemented in order to assure American strength, and the survival of so many people who’ve been decimated by opioids. One of the ways that they can begin is through educating ourselves by watching “China: The Enemy Within.” Thank you so much for producing it.

Lee Smith: Ben, thank you so much. It was a real thrill to work with The Daily Wire. I’m looking at the results right now, and it’s just such a thrill and such an honor to have been part of this great team. And I’m sure that everyone is going to love the finished project, so thanks again.

Ben Johnson: Well, thank you. Anyone who produces “China: The Enemy Within” is a friend of the American people.

China: The Enemy Within is a new Daily Wire original docuseries about U.S. leaders allowing Chinese interests to overtake our policies, education, and culture. Stream the full series now exclusively at

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