Media Downplayed Chinese Espionage & Pro-Clinton Election Interference in 1990s

China stole thermonuclear secrets from the U.S. And it supported Bill Clinton’s 1996 reelection.

China engages in massive espionage against the U.S. and has done so for decades. On top of this, the media have known of it for nearly as long. But they downplayed explosive reports on it in the 1990s because they reflected negatively on then President Bill Clinton, and because they showed how the Chinese interfered in the 1996 presidential election in favor of Clinton. This stands in blunt contrast to the hysteria the media have ginned up over Russian conspiracy theories today.

China is the top, long-term national security threat to the United States of America. And it’s been so for many years. One of the reasons it threatens the U.S. is because it successfully engages in wide-ranging espionage against America. Nearly every week brings new stories of Chinese spying operations against the U.S.

But the media have always downplayed this threat, particularly so during the 1990s.

In 1999, the U.S. House of Representatives published a report called the “U.S. National Security and Military/Commercial Concerns with the People’s Republic of China.” Then U.S. Rep. Christopher Cox chaired the report and it subsequently became known as the Cox Report. It is a monstrous, three-volume tome containing nearly 1,000 pages, and it documents how the Chinese stole U.S. weapons systems information, including “design information on the United States’ most advanced thermonuclear weapons.”

Even worse, the Cox Report concluded that, “The PRC has proliferated weapons systems and components to other countries including Iran, Pakistan, Libya, Syria, and North Korea” (page xiii, Adobe page 28).

Yet there was no media or Ruling Class hysteria over this after it was published. There were no demands for further investigations and no cries for punishment of guilty parties. The media and public officials didn’t see Chinese manipulation behind every negative event, and they made no attempt to demonize the Chinese. Indeed, the Ruling Class went on to develop closer ties with the Chinese, a trend that grows stronger to this day.

So why was there no hysteria? The answer is because it would have negatively affected the Clinton administration, which the media enthusiastically supported.

Serious Chinese espionage activity against the United States didn’t start in the 1990s. It had been ongoing for at least 20 years by the time of the publication of the Cox Report, with the report noting on page iii (Adobe page 18), “The PRC thefts from our National Laboratories began at least as early as the late 1970s, and significant secrets are known to have been stolen as recently as the mid-1990s. Such thefts almost certainly continue to the present.”

But a great deal of that espionage likely occurred in the 1990s, during President Bill Clinton’s two terms in office. The Media Research Center reported on this on July 6, 1999.

Since March 6, 1999, when The New York Times revealed the theft of nuclear-warhead secrets, President Clinton and his aides have insisted that all or most of the espionage occurred in the Republican administrations that preceded him. When the White House allowed release of the Cox Report after censoring some 375 pages, the panel listed 11 cases of espionage, and noted eight took place during the Clinton era. In the June 9 Investor’s Business Daily, Washington Bureau Chief Paul Sperry reported that “the vast majority of leaks over the past 20 years have sprung up on Clinton’s watch, and nearly all the old leaks have shown up since then...At least 24 times, the declassified version of the report states: ‘The Clinton administration has determined further information cannot be made public.’ Left out are details about Chinese espionage that took place in the ‘mid-1990s’ or ‘late 1990s.’” But the networks made the administration line their own.

So the media were eager to downplay Chinese espionage of nuclear weapons information. And it wasn’t just because a lot of espionage occurred during Clinton’s years in office. It was also because of how the Clinton administration was compromised by the Chinese—another fact the media minimized.

On a May 14, 1999, the MRC summarized how China supported the Clinton administration, including its successful reelection effort in 1996.

Sen. Thompson’s opening statement noting intelligence reports suggested the Chinese government had attempted to influence the 1996 elections was presented as a blunder throughout the hearings. On September 9, the night they ignored Fowler, ABC’s Linda Douglass noted: “Senator Thompson is clearly tired of taking a beating from the Democrats, who every single day point out the fact that he’s failed to prove there is any Chinese plot in connection with the Democratic presidential campaign.” Where were they when proof arrived?

Just over two years later Bill Clinton was out of office and Islamic terrorists had conducted the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Chinese espionage received little attention after that. So did the Clintons’ involvement with the Chinese.

The media have acknowledged Chinese espionage throughout the years but they have also ensured that few people care about it. They have been particularly successful in ensuring that there has been no hysteria over it or the pro-Clinton Chinese election interference in 1996.

The Chinese will continue to rob America of what should be its most closely guarded secrets. And that espionage will continue damaging the U.S. Meanwhile, the media will not highlight this exceptionally grave damage to the U.S. even as they do all they can to whip up hysteria over Russian conspiracy theories.

Photo at Top: President Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. Photo by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Dominique A. Pineiro.

Note: The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.