I Prayed have prayed
Lord, we pray that authoritarian operations of theft, subversion, and repression on U.S. soil would fail. Please give our leaders wisdom as they interact with China. We pray for justice, righteousness, freedom, and true peace to prevail.
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Analysis. As tensions continue to rise between the United States and China, national security leaders are calling on business and political leaders to pay attention. In fact, FBI Director Christopher Wray this week said the communist regime is “the biggest long-term threat to our economic and national security.”

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As you might expect between two major world powers, the U.S. and China have a complex relationship. But a number of recent developments appear to signal rocky days to come.

For example, near the end of June a U.S. import ban on products connected to China’s Xinjiang region went into effect. This is part of an effort to counter forced labor and other documented human rights abuses — including genocide — against Uyghur Muslims and other minorities in that region. Unsurprisingly, China denies the allegations and says this ban “gravely hurts the interests of companies and consumers in both countries.”

Meanwhile, China is escalating confrontations near Taiwan, which the communist giant claims as its own. China is sending warplanes into Taiwan’s air defense zone, even as U.S. naval vessels purposefully sail through Taiwan’s waters. This led U.S. President Joe Biden in May to warn that China was “flirting with danger.”

And then there are a host of other simmering conflicts. For example, last week in “Headline Prayer” we explored growing concerns about how the Chinese government may be able to access and use American individuals’ personal data through the wildly popular TikTok social media app.

With this backdrop, FBI Director Wray issued his warning during a speech to business leaders in London. He emphasized to them that “the Chinese government poses an even more serious threat to Western businesses than even many sophisticated businesspeople realize.”

Wray said that business leaders need to know that their partner companies in China are subservient to — if not outright owned by — the Chinese Communist Party. Moreover, outside of China, the regime takes steps to create “elaborate shell games” to disguise its influence in business relationships.

Wray emphasized China’s focus on “stealing your technology—whatever it is that makes your industry tick—and using it to undercut your business and dominate your market.” And he noted he has seen that happen in a variety of places — big cities, rural communities, Fortune 100 companies, and small start-ups. But in addition to theft, Wray warned that China is known to lean heavily on companies to get them to support or diffuse opposition to its authoritarian activities.

“Repression is part of how the Chinese government tries to shape the world in its favor, making the world more pliable and susceptible to its nefarious campaign to steal our data and innovation,” said Wray. “That connection—between the Chinese government’s ugly repression and its strategic economic goals—is too little recognized.”

Wray urged companies to take a “long view” in their business dealings with China — past the next earnings report.

“Consider that it may be a lot cheaper to preserve your intellectual property now than to lose your competitive advantage and have to build a new one down the road,” he said.

Interestingly, as Director Wray called out China “across the Pond,” another U.S. agency simultaneously issued a notice also urging wariness. The National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC), which serves the U.S. Director of National Intelligence, directed its warnings to state and local (“subnational”) officials in the U.S.

The NCSC notes that China continues to attempt to influence Washington, D.C., directly. However, it is also has a complementary strategy of building relationships with state and local leaders in pursuit of goals that may be more difficult to sway directly in the America’s capital.

“The PRC understands U.S. state and local leaders enjoy a degree of independence from Washington and may seek to use them as proxies to advocate for national U.S. policies Beijing desires including improved U.S. economic cooperation with China, and reduced U.S. criticism of China’s policies towards Taiwan, Tibetans, Uyghurs, pro-democracy activists, and others,” the bulletin said.

NCSC describes how the Chinese Communist Party’s United Front Work Department acts as a leader in such foreign influence efforts, and it uses a web of official and quasi-official groups to pursue its ends. They may collect sensitive information, target up-and-coming officials early in their careers, exploit partnerships like sister-city programs, use business influence, or create economic dependencies within localities that it can use to leverage support. China’s operations may be overt public diplomacy, but they can also be covert and potentially “coercive or even criminal in nature.”

To avoid being exploited by China — or any other foreign government — NCSC urged that “state and local leaders should exercise vigilance, conduct due diligence, and ensure transparency, integrity, and accountability” in all their dealings.

As U.S.-China tensions rise, will you pray for wisdom for our national leaders, as well as state, local, and business leaders? And please pray for the people of China — particularly our brothers and sisters in Christ — who know the authoritarian rule of the Chinese Communist Party firsthand.

How are you praying about China? Share your thoughts and prayers below.

Aaron Mercer is a Contributing Writer with two decades of experience in Washington, D.C.s public policy arena. Photo Credit: Yan Ke on Unsplash.

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Catherine S Green
July 13, 2022

I keep hearing, “Trojan horses” in my inner man in regard to TikTok and Dogtopia, and other Chinese owned companies. Ive not been able to do enough research to validate that reasoning.

Darlene Estlow
July 11, 2022

Father, give our local, state, and federal leaders wisdom in dealing with China. May we not be foolish in the attempt to make money. May people be wise in relation to TikTok. I pray for the people of China to look to you and for the protection of Christians. I pray for the groups that China is persecuting like the Ugher Muslims and others like them. Stop China’s immoral activities and turn the hearts of China leaders to you.

Allena Jordan
July 11, 2022

Lord, set the captives free. There are those who are captive because they live in China and in some way oppose the CCP. There are those within the CCP who are captive because they do not know or believe in God. They serve another master. May the blood of Jesus cry out from the ground as the people of China moan under the authority and dictates of the CCP. Set them free. This is the reason Christ came. Protect Your people. Cause them to be lights in dark places. Deliver the world from this evil and dark government system. Thank You, LORD. Amen.

Joy Molina
July 11, 2022

Praying 🙏 for CHINA!


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