Keith Krach Interview with Voice of America — Beating China Inc.
Former Under Secretary Krach joined VOA’s Daphne Dung-Ning Fan for a wide-ranging discussion of the threats posed to the U.S. and its allies by China’s ongoing violation of key trust principles.
Excerpts from transcript:
Daphne Dung-Ning Fan: You are the highest ranking State Department official who visits Taiwan since 1979. Could you please share with us more detail of that important trip from your perspective?
Keith Krach: Yeah, obviously it was a great honor and it really fit in with our overall strategy. The purpose of my trip was to go to President Lee’s memorial service. We would call him the George Washington of Taiwan. I was greeted with 40 fighters and bombers, but it really gave me a chance to interact with a lot of the business people that I’ve interacted with before over the years from the private sector, but also spent a lot of time with the government. And I had a great. Or with President Tsai, and it was really there that we came up with the it was a catalyst for economic prosperity partnership between Taiwan and the United States.
Daphne Dung-Ning Fan: And Mr. Krach, your team at the State Department also developed a 5G network that turned the tide against Huawei. How important is that 5G clean network? Will you explain?
Keith Krach: Well, I think that’s really important because it defeated China Inc.’s master plan to own 5G communications. And 5G communications is just not your phone. This is about utility grids. This is about Internet of Things, manufacturing processes, all kinds of sanitation systems. So this is a really important thing. But what it really was, is it also showed that China Inc was beatable and exposed their biggest weakness, which was lack of trust. But the other two objectives was to create a model for competing with China, as well as to provide a beachhead for many other areas of economic collaboration, whether it’s clean infrastructure, with clean finance and clean energy, other areas of technology.
Daphne Dung-Ning Fan: And also earlier this year, you and the former secretary of state, Mr. Pompeo, and also 26 others were labeled as anti-China politician. And you were on number three on the list to be sanctioned by China, which means that you and your immediate family member are prohibited from entering China. And companies and institutions associate with you are also restricted from doing business with China. What is your response to China’s sanction on you, your business and your family?
Keith Krach: Well, I got sanctioned because I did my job and I got results. It’s inconsequential to me and my family. You know, it really doesn’t matter. Maybe you know, maybe it’s a Medal of Honor, but why should I react when I can act and I am not going to bend a knee to General Secretary Xi and I don’t think anybody else should as well.
Keith Krach: Yeah, well, I always remain hopeful for sure. But but I also think that General Secretary Xi has really amped up the aggression. And even though they say, hey, a win win relationship, it’s not. It’s a zero-sum game. And I think the world has woken up to the truth about his three C’s doctrine of concealment, cooperation and coercion. And the world now understands that the pandemic is a result of the concealment of the virus. I mean, they shut everything down. People lost their lives, all kinds of things like that. And I think people can see the cooption in Hong Kong has resulted in evisceration of its citizens’ freedoms. And now the coercion in Xinjiang has grown to genocide and the world doesn’t like it. It’s the most unifying, bipartisan issue of our time. And I think if you look at that, you know, the eight hundred pound elephant in the room is the CCP’s retaliation and intimidation. And this is why the clean network was so successful, because it represents a security blanket. There’s strength in numbers and there’s power and unity in solidarity. And I think the world’s woken up now.
Daphne Dung-Ning Fan: Mr. Krach, if you could send a message to Xi Jin Ping, what would it be?
Keith Krach: I guess I would say, the world does not trust you. And you sanctioned me, it has no effect on me. But it sends a message to the Biden administration, sends a message to business leaders all over the world that you’re not to be trusted and there’s consequences for that.