China

Brg. Gen. Robert Spalding — China Has Strategically Beaten America. In a 5G World, You Cannot Opt Out.

Robert Spalding

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Robert Spalding

Robert S. Spalding III is a retired United States Air Force brigadier general. He currently serves as a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute. His work focuses on U.S.–China relations, economic and national security, and the Asia-Pacific military balance.

He was promoted to Brigadier General in November 2016. From December 2016 to May 2017, he was U.S. Senior Defense Official and Defense Attaché to China, Beijing and from May 2017 to January 2018, Senior Director for Strategic Planning, National Security Council, White House, Washington D.C.

Spalding holds a doctorate in economics and mathematics from the University of Missouri, Kansas City. He was a distinguished graduate of the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, and is fluent in Chinese Mandarin.

In 2019, he published the book Stealth War: How China Took Over While America’s Elite Slept.

Notes

The original interview is 1 hour 46 minutes. This post reduced it to 14 minutes. The interview references National Security Strategy of the United States of America: December 2017.

Please consider following host @patrickbetdavid

Transcript of Clips

Each separate clip transcribed and time-stamped below.

Patrick Bet-David ➝ 00:00

The biggest threat to America is not Al Qaeda. It’s not ISIS, it’s not Putin. It’s not any of these guys. It’s China. You really believe that.

Robert Spalding

I believe it. I think it’s the most consequential existential threat, not just to America, just to democracy, the world’s ever seen.

And it’s because it’s cloaked itself in this picture of adoption of the international norms that were established, and the rules and norms and the systems and the institutions that were established after World War II perpetuated through the Cold War.

And essentially in our thoughts dominant after the end of the Cold War. It was, they wrapped themselves in that. And so there’s a belief that they accept those principles.

And what they say is they want to have the international system essentially correspond to their interests. But what they don’t say, what their interests are and their interests are essentially counter to every democratic principle that we stand for. Human rights, civil liberties, rule of law.

Robert Spalding

A world where you may not know you’re being oppressed, or you may not know who your oppressor and in that world…

Patrick Bet-David

You may not know you’re the oppressor.

Robert Spalding

You may not know you’re being oppressed or that who your oppressor is.

Because we’d seen in, for instance, after the election, using Big Data analysis, AI bots and social media networks, the Russians had created protests right?

They had it, it was ostensibly on behalf of Black Lives Matter. I’m talking about the one in New York City a few days after the election, but it was really the Russians.

And so what you’re seeing is in going back to data as a strategic resource in the digitized world, the ability to aggregate data is equivalent to aggregating power.

Robert Spalding

And if you can aggregate power, then you have to wonder about who has the ability to aggregate data in that world.

And today the two entities that can really aggregate data are large tech companies and totalitarian regimes.

Democracies have a hard time aggregating data.

United States cannot aggregate data because the law prevents it from doing so. So we started this unit within the state department called the Global Engagement Center. The Global Engagement Center was supposed to fight radicalization, for instance, by ISIS and prevent influence of our population.

But they can’t do their job because they can’t aggregate data. Not even public facing Twitter data, right? Because there’s concern that we use the resources of the government to spy on our own population.

But one of the ways that foreign states go after us is actually to take our own social media data and use it in ways that influence us. And so in order to discover that you actually have to be in the data.

And so the only ones that can be in the data today are the large tech companies.

Robert Spalding ➝ 2:59

And so you’re essentially offloading to the large tech companies. One of the primary purposes of forming the constitution, which is in the preamble, provide for the common defense.

Robert Spalding ➝ 3:12

If you’re connected to a totalitarian regime and you’re open, and the totalitarian regime is intent on influencing your population the way we’ve designed our current internet, absolutely allows for it.

Patrick Bet-David

But doesn’t that mean that we become totalitarian. If we do that as well, like to match against them, we kind of have to…

Robert Spalding

If we did what they did, right? So they didn’t protect their individual data from them as a government. They just protected it from the outside. So they build a wall around it.

What I’m telling you is you have control over your data, not the government, not our government, not their government, not Twitter, not Facebook, but you own it. And so if Facebook wants to sell your data, then they have to get your permission and may even have to pay you to do so.

Patrick Bet-David

Who are you more concerned about, the totalitarian regime or the large technology companies?

Robert Spalding

I would say today, they have the same business model.

Patrick Bet-David

Really?

Robert Spalding

Of course.

Patrick Bet-David

Tell me why.

Robert Spalding

Look at them today. Both China and Facebook have censors. China sends their censors to school. What do the censors learn? The censors actually learn about Tiananmen square, the truth. Right? Because they have to censor that discussion on the network.

Facebook has censors, the censors go to school to learn what they need to censor on Facebook’s network, right? Same business model. It’s about free data. It’s about using that data. Except for this one, it’s about profit. For this one, it’s about control. And they even down to the censors, they have the same model.

Robert Spalding ➝ 4:56

Well, there was the one moment that I had was when I got the briefing in the fall of 2014 that was from one of the major audit firms. And when I looked, when I opened that briefing and I realized, you know, a lot of the elements of that we would use to attack a country using an air attack.

I saw play out in front of my eyes using economics, finance and information. And so, you know, that was the moment. It broke my mind. Because up until that point, I thought that America’s a greatest nation on Earth. We’re unassailable.

We’re the most powerful, you know, nothing could happen to us. And that was the point when I realized that no, I mean, we could have carrier battle groups, nuclear subs, F 35’s, and all of this capability and spend $800 billion a year on defense.

But if our society was basically being attacked at their job level, at their societal level, then we had lost the ability to protect our nation in a globalized internet-powered world.

Robert Spalding ➝ 6:03

I’m at the White House. And I’m now working with think tanks and law firms trying to number one, expose what the Chinese were doing.

November 29, 2019

“I saw play out in front of my eyes using economics, finance and information. And so, you know, that was the moment. It broke my mind. Because up until that point, I thought that America’s a greatest nation on Earth.

Dr Robert Spalding

Brigadier General

But number two, come up with credible policy options that we could implement that would get them, that would prevent them from taking advantage of our population and time after time, they say, sorry, I can’t help you. I don’t want to anger my Chinese funders or my Chinese customers. My partners aren’t comfortable with us because we have a lot of business in China and I’m like, I’m calling from the White House and our top think thanks and the top law firms in the country were telling me I can’t help you.

November 29, 2019

“But if our society was basically being attacked at their job level, at their societal level, then we had lost the ability to protect our nation in a globalized internet-powered world.”

Dr Robert Spalding

Brigadier General

And so, you know, I knew about, I knew this already, right? So, but then when you, you really get an understanding of, okay, if they won’t even help the White House, then we’ve got a serious, serious problem.

Patrick Bet-David ➝ 6:56

What did you learn about McConnell and the Biden family?

Robert Spalding

Well, so they’re the only ones that I named in the book. And the reason I did is because it’s all out in the open, you can go read the sources; the New York Times report, Wall Street journal reports, Biden. His son went with him on Air Force Two over to China. 10 days later is named a board member of Bohai Harvest, a hedge fund, which is a billion and a half dollar hedge fund.

Robert Spalding ➝ 7:29

McConnell. You already talked about his family, his father-in-law knows Jiang Zemin, former chairman of the Chinese Communist Party, and his sister-in-law is on the board of the bank of China.

Robert Spalding ➝ 7:45

What influence would you say is there? They would say there is no influence. That just happened. Part of McConnell, he happens to be my family relationships. On the part of Biden, he would say that was my son. It really had nothing to do with me.

November 29, 2019

“And what is a 5G world? The platform is the network. So this is mobile computing paired with a pipe. 5G is computing and networking combined on the same platform.

… In a 5G world, you cannot opt out.”

Dr Robert Spalding

Brigadier General

Although he did go over with him on air force two. But that being said, it’s not about quid pro quo. It’s about adopting Xi Jinping’s worldview.

Robert Spalding ➝ 8:13

And his worldview, which he says at Davos many times, is globalization is good. We should continue to have open markets. We should continue to have open systems so that we can all collectively do well together as a global community. That’s essentially, I’m paraphrasing what Xi Jinping says.

But that’s not what he believes, because if you read the Chinese communist party documents, like for instance, the Document Number 9 that have come out of the country and have been translated, then you realize they repudiate every single element of, for example, the Atlantic Charter, which is a good one-page template for the international order signed by FDR and Winston Churchill, eight paragraphs, one page, democratic principles, free trade, rule of law, and self-determination. That’s it. That in a nutshell that tells you about what the UN, WTO, Bretton Woods, all that’s about.

Robert Spalding ➝ 9:10

The Chinese Communist Party doesn’t believe in any of those.

Robert Spalding ➝ 9:14

So when he goes to Davos, Xi Jinping goes to Davos and he says, we need to stay open for business.

It’s not, we need to stay to open for business because democracy, human rights, civil liberty, and rule of law are great. It’s because if you stay open for business, I can ensure that we have access to science, technology, innovation, and capital.

Robert Spalding ➝ 9:35

Do you know what an ECMO machine is?

November 29, 2019

“His son [Hunter Biden] went with him on air force two over to China. 10 days later is named a board member of Bohai Harvest, a hedge fund, which is a billion and a half dollar hedge fund.

Dr Robert Spalding

Brigadier General

Patrick Bet-David

No.

Robert Spalding

So an ECMO machine is a machine that is used to keep a body alive when heart and lungs are failing.

And so it takes blood out of the system, it oxygenates it, and puts blood back. I actually knew somebody that had been hooked up to one of those things. And it’s not a fun thing. When you’re dying and hooked up to an ECMO machine.

China, if you’re a dissident, you’re Falun Gong, you’re a Christian, you’re a Muslim. And you get a sentence to say seven years in prison for being a religious follower and you won’t stop.

They’ll type your blood, they’ll sequence your DNA, and they’ll give you an ultrasound and your organs and you go on a match list. If that match comes up, they’ll hook you up to an ECMO machine, hook your body up to an ECMO machine.

They’ll give you an injection to paralyze you and they’ll have a surgeon come and remove your organs, put them into somebody that’s come in for hundreds of thousand dollars to buy your organs, to have it put because they need a heart or need a liver, or need two kidneys or whatever.

And when they’ve taken all the organs out that they can use, they’ll throw the body in the incinerator.

Robert Spalding ➝ 10:50

So when we do things like equate that kind of behavior with, say, the social challenges that we have in the United States, then it shows a fundamentally misunderstanding of the difference between a democracy and a totalitarian regime.

Robert Spalding ➝ 11:12

Take the cloud away from it. Just look at the device itself. It’s meant to be a private device. It’s American product. Fast forward to 2009.

China starts to look at that, says, okay, we want to dominate the next level, right? Not just the technology. We want the app services, the business models to be Chinese companies. And so Huawei gets hundreds of billions of dollars to develop 5G and ZTE.

But then you have Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent. So they’re there behind the Chinese firewall. They’re protected. You can’t have the fangs going in there.

It’s just the bats that control the e-economy within China. And then you start at the same time developing 5G. The platform. And I’ll get to that in a second, but you’re also developing Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent.

November 29, 2019

“They’ll give you an injection to paralyze you and they’ll have a surgeon come and remove your organs, put them into somebody that’s come in for hundreds of thousand dollars to buy your organs, to have it put because they need a heart or need a liver, or need two kidneys or whatever.”

Dr Robert Spalding

Brigadier General

So now when you walk into, and you’re starting to see the emergence of the 5G world in China. So you walk into a restaurant after you’ve ordered your food, and a camera picks you up. And they say, David, welcome. Here’s your food. So you’re starting to get the feel of what a 5G world is.

And what is a 5G world? The platform is the network. So this is mobile computing paired with a pipe. 5G is computing and networking combined on the same platform.

So this goes away. You walk outside your door and you say, Uber, you don’t get on your phone and say, I want an Uber. You just say, Uber. Camera picks up your face or a microphone picks up. That’s what 5G is. That’s what 5G is. And then the Uber shows up. There’s a camera on the car that sees you, knows who you are. Don’t have to ask you your name. You get in. And you, go to wherever you want and you get out and you go do whatever you want.

Robert Spalding

So in this world, in the 4G world, this is a platform. It’s yours, right? You don’t want to be part of that. All of that data. Remember we just talked about how do you influence society? You don’t want all that data to be out there about what you’re doing. Just don’t carry one of these, right? Just opt out. In a 5G world, you cannot opt out.

Robert Spalding ➝ 13:20

Two people for every camera in China by 2022. A billion cameras in China with artificial intelligence, for facial recognition, right? So all of this is getting built right now in China, and who’s helping them do it, Microsoft, Google, right?

November 29, 2019

“And what is a 5G world? The platform is the network. So this is mobile computing paired with a pipe. 5G is computing and networking combined on the same platform.

… In a 5G world, you cannot opt out.”

Dr Robert Spalding

Brigadier General

All of these companies that want to deploy this world into our country. So Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent, that’s where the world goes. It goes from 2007 AT&T, ZTE, and Microsoft to the fangs, to the bats, right? Who owns the pipes? Me as a B2 guy, the first thing I look at it in the country is where’s the telecommunications.

Robert Spalding ➝ 14:05

The industrial strategy on the part of China is really about seeing the future. And this is what I give them credit for it. In my book, I call it a beautiful strategy, because I think it is. The most incredibly well-thought strategy that I’ve ever seen. And it probably will go down in history as one of the greatest.

 

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Source: ‘China’s Silent Takeover While America’s Elite Slept’, https://youtu.be/h8IEtlOVzq4 (Copyright Valuetainment, November 29, 2019)

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