Governments around the world are in the early stages of a repositioning of power, as China rises and the United States is drawn into direct competition. However, some are beginning to wonder whether, for all of the economic benefits, engaging with China carries unseen dangers.
The Chinese Communist Party is now determined to reshape the world in its image. The party is not interested in democracy. It divides the world into those who can be won over and enemies. They have already lured many leaders to their corner; others are weighing up a devil's bargain.
Through its exercise of 'sharp power,' the party is weakening global institutions, aggressively targeting individual corporations, and threatening freedom of expression from the arts to academia. At the same time, security services are increasingly worried about incursions into our communications infrastructure. Indeed, the vaunted Great Firewall is a temporary measure, only necessary until the party has transformed the global conversation.
In December 2019, the CCP's obsession with social control led it to suppress expert warnings about the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan. Most alarming for the West was the active collaboration of the WHO in spreading the CCP's version of events. It was a shocking example of the widespread co-optation of global institutions by the CCP, as described in Hidden Hand. As soon as Beijing thought it had the virus under control, it began a global propaganda blitz, presenting China's authoritarian system as a model for the rest of the world. Western media and pundits soon began echoing the Party line.
Hidden Hand is a detailed and devastating expose of Chinese Communist Party influence in the West, including Canada. It could not arrive at a better time in Canada, with relations between Ottawa and Beijing reaching breaking point after two years of mounting tension. China's bullying behaviour, and the mobilising of people loyal to the Chinese Communist Party on the streets of Canada's cities, has caused deep disquiet among Canadians.
But the government seems paralyzed. Hidden Hand shows how Canada's political, business, academic and cultural elites have over many years been co-opted by the Chinese Communist Party and its agencies. They are confused about what is in Canada's national interests and frequently do Beijing's bidding.
Hidden Hand shows how the Chinese Communist Party represents a profound threat to Western democracy. It's vital reading for Canadians who want to understand what is really happening, and points to a way of carving out a new diplomatic course with China. But the question remains: Does the government have the will to stand up to Beijing and its proxies in Canada or is it too late?
Publication Date: 16-Jun-2020
Publisher: Hardie Grant Books