China Surveillance State

Keith Krach 08.08.2020

Maria Bartiromo & Keith Krach Discuss President Trump’s Ban on TikTok & WeChat

In this August 7, 2020 interview, Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo discusses President Trump’s decision to issue an executive order banning TikTok and WeChat.

Bartiromo: There are escalating tensions with China. As you know, President Trump issued executive orders last night on Chinese apps, TikTok and WeChat. The orders ban any U.S. transactions with the parent companies, ByteDance and Tencent. It will go into effect in 45 days. Joining me right now is the Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment, Keith Krach. Keith, it is great to see you thank you so much for being here. Walk us through some of these threats and why TikTok and WeChat are making Americans vulnerable.

Krach: Maria, the first thing is it’s not just about two companies. It’s about the Chinese Communist Party’s surveillance state. This is an extension of that.
Huawei is the backbone to this surveillance state. And then there’s all these different appendages, like WeChat, like TikTok. And Secretary Pompeo announced this on Wednesday the Clean Network. And the Clean Network is the administration’s comprehensive approach to protecting data privacy, security… It also deals with human rights and collaborative, you know, from an economic standpoint. So this is all about that. And if you look at what the Communist Party’s been doing, they’ve been collecting our citizens’ data. And these are two big sources of that.

Bartiromo: Yeah, I’ve been I’ve been writing about this in my upcoming book, Keith, and I’ve got a list in front of me from the book research of literally 25 arrests just in 2020, whether it be Chinese hackers working to steal COVID-19 research or Charles Lieber from Harvard running the chemistry department there and also taking money from the CCP, Arkansas, Harvard, Cleveland Clinic. The list goes on. How are we going to stop this? I mean, clearly, when the president for three years went back and forth with Chinese officials about getting a phase one trade deal done, the intellectual property theft was the one thing that the Chinese government said, "No, not we’re not going to stop. We’re not even admitting that we’re doing it." So what’s the long term plan here in terms of getting the CCP to stop stealing intellectual property as a goal for growth? I mean, this is their strategy for growth: Theft.

Krach: You’re absolutely right that they are stealing intellectual property at massive scale. I spent 30 years in Silicon Valley. It’s the reason why I came to the government because I had a chance to experience it first-hand. And now being here, I see that they’re doing it absolutely on a massive scale. So one of these things, one of the core strategies is the Clean Networks, It’s five new clean initiatives. Clean Carrier, Clean Cloud, Clean Store, Clean App and also Clean Cable — undersea cables where they collect at hyper scale.
It’s a combination of projecting ourselves on that digital front and also bringing along our allies.

Now, citizens all over the world are waking up to this malign regime and they see that the pandemic is a result of the concealment of the virus. They see Hong Kong’s freedom as being totally eviscerated. They see the human rights abuses in Xinjiang. And it’s given the political will to government leaders and corporate CEOs all around the world.

Bartiromo: Peter Navarro made a really interesting comment last week when I spoke with him and he said, "Look, the Chinese are gathering all this information and they could use it as blackmail. They could try blackmailing people." So I want to I want to speak to this influencing going on right now. is the CCP right now trying to influence members of Congress.?

Krach: They’re trying to influence everybody. And if you look at the Communist Party’s doctrine, it is seduce with money and reinforce with intimidation and retaliation. They not only do that to countries, they do it to companies. They do it to individuals. By the way, it’s part of their economic war craft strategy.

Bartiromo: All right. How do you expect the Chinese to respond, because they are talking about retaliating. They’re calling this new effort, quote, "A textbook case of bullying." The U.S., quote, "Has no right to set up the Clean Network." That’s what the CCP is saying this morning. And they are promising retaliation. So what would you expect in that regard?

Krach: Well, you know, they’re a bully. And when you confront a bully, they’ll back down. And they really back down. If you confront that bully and you have all your friends around you. We’re standing up to that China bully." And so it’s basically freedom against authoritarianism. Maria.