For the past few years, one foreign government, an autocratic adversary in all but name, has jailed the families of American journalists, unleashed hackers and social media trolls by the tens of thousands, and injected a campaign to silence critics throughout the West, forcing publishers to back down and convincing American academic institutions to look the other way.
From imprisoning spouses and siblings of American journalists to littering American academia with pro-Beijing institutes, China has led a campaign of influence and intimidation in the West that has outpaced Russia at nearly every turn. While there are no signs Beijing attempted to meddle in the recent American election to the extent Moscow did, Chinese officials have nonetheless exerted a campaign of subterfuge throughout Europe, the Americas, and Australia and New Zealand.
For instance, where Moscow has recently made it more difficult for American media companies to operate on Russian soil, it’s Beijing that has barred outlets like the New York Times outright – and led a campaign of imprisoning the relatives of American reporters publishing material critical of the Chinese Communist Party.
But Radio Free Asia isn’t the only outlet with American employees whose families have been targeted.
Schooled in silence
Unfortunately, Guo is by no means the lone opposition voice China has attempted to silence on American soil.