On March 12, 2021, adjunct professor at The Institute of World Politics and Senior Fellow at The Hudson Institute in Washington D.C., Rebecca Heinrichs, was interviewed on Fox Business Tonight by David Asman concerning Chinese spying in U.S. sister cities to gain influence. Ms. Heinrichs teaches a course on Nuclear Deterrence and Arms Control at IWP.
In the segment, it was noted that there are 40 U.S. states with 157 Chinese sister cities. Prof. Heinrichs stated that these sister cities were designed for “cooperation and mutual understanding,” with U.S. cities partnering with Chinese cities such as Shanghai and Beijing. She commented that “The Chinese are exploiting American benevolence and our open system to take information, to exploit people, to coerce and to compel to get different things from the cities and beyond those cities.”
Ms. Heinrichs also noted that “we are in an all-out competition. They are an adversary of the United States…They should no longer be there.”
Mr. Asman noted that U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken would head to China to continue the dialogue with his Chinese counterparts. He said the hope is that Mr. Blinken will bring up the Confucian Institutes on American campuses and the role they play in spying and influencing.
Ms. Heinrichs said that the Trump Administration called out China on its “human rights abuses, the kinds of things they are doing to exploit academic institutions in the United States, and the relationship with big tech.” Her hope is that the Biden Administration will continue the Trump Administration’s course of action with regards to being tough on China.
The conversation switched to the global pandemic, where Mr. Asman said that he was doubtful that China would take accountability for its role in the outbreak of the pandemic.
Prof. Heinrichs said that it seems like the virus came from the Wuhan laboratory, although she does not know what the Chinese intentions were at that time. Ms. Heinrichs noted that the Chinese government “lied, their behavior [concerning international travel out of China] was highly concerning” at the beginning of the pandemic.