For decades, the United States has underestimated the threat from the People’s Republic of China (PRC). In doing so, it has left our country vulnerable to their devious plans—a profound, strategic miscalculation. As a result of this carelessness, the United States is at risk of losing its dominant position in global politics.
But how did this happen? How was it possible that the US could lose its dominant position after its Cold War victory and allow the rise of a peer enemy over a short period of time—about thirty years? In Embracing Communist China, authors James E. Fanell and Bradley A. Thayer get to the bottom of this grievous miscalculation.
Broken down into three central arguments, Fanell and Thayer lay out not only the reason for China’s rise in power, but how the United States could have prevented it.
• Due to failures on the parts of the national security commission, strategists, military personnel, and the intelligence community, a historical case of "threat deflation” caused our country to refute all supplied information of China’s growing power. By not taking this seriously, the PRC has risen with the goal of usurping the US as a global superpower.
• US business interests and financiers trumped strategy. Seeing China as a source of cheap labor for manufacturing, investment, and intellectual labor—including for research and development—the mighty dollar’s influence reigned supreme, overlooking the big picture.
• With their advancements, China used its political warfare strategy to promote threat deflation under Deng Xiaoping. As such, the PRC—learning key lessons from the Soviet Union’s mistakes in the Cold War—focused on elites from all aspects of US and other Western societies, enriching them and shaping their perception of China and of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) while using the enticement of a growing market to influence their behavior.
As Americans, we can no longer think of China as a secondary power, but one that is looking to remove the US as the most powerful country in the world. By understanding the profound strategic failures made by the US we are able to
correct them and so defeat the PRC as we did the Soviet Union.
About the Authors
James E. Fanell is a retired U.S. Navy captain, serving twenty-nine-years in the military. He is the former Director of Intelligence and Information Operations for the U.S. Pacific Fleet, Government Fellow at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy, and Founding Member of the Committee on Present Danger China.
Bradley A. Thayer, Ph.D., is a founding member of the Committee on Present Danger China and a former visiting fellow at Magdalen College, University of Oxford.
Praise for Embracing Communist China
“James Fanell and Bradley Thayer’s book comes at a critical time in American history as our nation faces its most capable adversary ever: the Chinese Communist Party. As Fanell and Thayer explain, the CCP has captured much of the American elite. Every time the Trump Administration took action to defend the country against China, the White House switchboard would light up with calls from Wall Street titans, Hollywood moguls, and Vegas casino magnates demanding a change in policy. Fanell and Thayer are right, we have a problem.”
—Robert C. O’Brien, former U.S. National Security Advisor
“Embracing Communist China is an exceptional and unprecedented analysis of 50 years of appeasement to Communist China. James Fanell and Bradley Thayer’s sharp and insightful assessment of the federal bureaucracy’s refusal to confront the PRC matches my own experience from four years in the Trump Administration. Besides documenting this revolting history, these authors provide sound recommendations for returning America’s foreign policy to the right
course began under President Trump.”
—Peter Navarro, former Assistant to the President, Director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, and the national Defense Production Act policy coordinator
“Fanell and Thayer’s Embracing Communist China provides a detailed and valuable examination of how the US national security community failed in identifying the national security threat from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) over the
past forty years. While there was clear lack of recognition of the growing threat, it is particularly alarming given the very strong indications and warning including affirmative, bellicose statements by the PRC of their intent. Even today the U.S. approach is one of "wishing away” the threat rather than dealing with it head on. The book’s findings and first-hand observations are an especially important topic given the current state of PRC threats to the Indo-Pacific region and
America. This excellent manuscript goes on to provide practical solutions on how to restore America’s national defense vis-a-vis the PRC; solutions that should be adopted with a sense of urgency.”
—John Bird, Vice Admiral, U.S. Navy (Retired) former Commander, U.S. Seventh Fleet”
“Successful strategy first understands the past and the present before focusing on the future. In their new book, Embracing Communist China, authors Jim Fanell and Brad Thayer provide a fresh perspective on the failure of US past
and present relations with China and the Chinese Communist Party. This is a must read for those who truly want to understand the threat our nation faces from the CCP.”
—Tony L. Cothron, Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy (Retired) former Director of Naval Intelligence
“James Fanell and Bradley Thayer have long warned of the multifaceted threats posed by China to US security. Now in comprehensive fashion, they analyze why, in near suicidal blindness, America ignored these obvious Chinese challenges to our very way of life—documenting how naïveté and condescension about communist agendas, hubris in assuming perpetual and automatic American preeminence, and the financial self-interest of our elites have all combined to ensure China’s unwarranted but nonetheless enormous leverage and power over America. This is a rare, much needed, and
erudite eleventh-hour blueprint of how Americans can wake up, rebuild our defenses, stop fueling Chinese mercantilism, and reassert strategic deterrence to protect our allies and ourselves.”
—Victor Davis Hanson, Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow, the Hoover Institution, Stanford University
“In the more than two centuries of American foreign policy mistakes, failures, and debacles, one stands out: Washington’s post-Cold War inability to understand and defend against the militant People’s Republic of China. James
Fanell and Bradley Thayer tell us how the US can avoid the catastrophe that is fast approaching.”
—Gordon Chang, American journalist, lawyer, political commentator, and writer
“America is in World War III. It was begun by the Chinese Communist Party in order to put them in control of the world. With Embracing Communist China by James Fanell and Bradley Thayer, a master work of strategy and politics,
they demonstrate how the US defense and political establishment engaged in self-deception about the nature of Communist China and the consequences for our national survival. Anyone looking to understand what steps need to be
taken to defend the United States, needs to read this book.”
—Brian T. Kennedy, President, The American Strategy Group and Chairman, The Committee on the Present Danger:China
“I commend Capt. James Fanell and Dr. Bradley Thayer for their superlative exposition of the catastrophic failure of all
American institutions—intelligence, military, finance, higher education—to protect and defend the United States from
infiltration and conquest by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). It is a sorry tale of elite capture, strategic ineptitude, shameful avarice, told with rigor and precision. The hour is late, as the CCP is waging its "People’s War” on the USA, thus I urge every citizen to heed Capt. Fanell and Dr. Thayer’s dire warnings and read this book.”
—Maura Moynihan, journalist, author, formerly with Radio Free Asia’s Tibet bureau.
"Embracing Communist China sheds new light on the failures of US policy towards Beijing after the end of the Cold War. The ideas presented in this book are a valuable contribution to the ongoing debate on how the US should confront
—Marco Rubio, US Senator