China experts discuss how Beijing courts multinational executives

Author Clive Hamilton, a professor of public ethics, discussed in a Hill.TV interview how the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) targets multinational executives to help spread their political influence.

“What the CCP does is it puts into place a very sophisticated, and often very subtle, process of psychological manipulation. I mean, I think it’s very accurate to describe it as grooming,” Hamilton, who teaches in Australia at Charles Sturt University in Canberra, told Hill.TV in an interview.

“They identify and target key members of elites…as people who might be induced, one way or another, to be drawn into the circle of CCP influence,” he added.

Hamilton, co-author of the book “Hidden Hands: Exposing How The Chinese Communist Party Is Reshaping The World,” said the targeted individuals are then rewarded for their “CCP view of the world” in various different ways, such as flattery, meetings with President Xi Jinping.

Mareike Ohlberg, senior fellow in the Asia Program at the Washington-based German Marshall Fund who co-authored “Hidden Hands” with Hamilton, noted that while money plays an important role in the process, the normalization of the CCP influence is also key.

“In a way, for a number of years, these kinds of ties and this kind of activity has been portrayed as absolutely benign, as being a net plus, as having absolutely no harm and only bringing positive exchange with China,” she said. “So it’s really been normalized.”

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.