Peter Schweizer On China’s Covert Assault On America

“The supreme strategist is the one who defeats his enemy without actually firing a shot.”
Yaorusheng. Getty Images. flags of USA and China painted on cracked wall.
Yaorusheng. Getty Images. flags of USA and China painted on cracked wall.

The following is an edited transcript of a recent interview between Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief John Bickley and investigative journalist Peter Schweizer on a special Sunday Edition of Morning Wire. They discuss Schweizer’s new book “Blood Money” and China’s covert strategy of “disintegration warfare” against the United States.

JOHN: Joining us now to discuss his new investigative book “Blood Money,” which shines an alarming light on China’s attempt to engage in what they call “disintegration warfare” against the U.S., is bestselling author Peter Schweizer. Peter, thank you for coming on.

PETER: Absolutely. Great to be with you.

JOHN: Now what you lay out in “Blood Money” is clearly sending some shockwaves through many circles. Let’s start with the big picture, with the premise of the book. What did your research about China’s relationship to the U.S. lead you to conclude?

PETER: I think there are two stages to the story, John. It’s best demonstrated by a picture. The picture is America on fire and China holding an empty can of gasoline. Some of our leaders are aware of it but they’re not saying anything. So it’s really about two things. Number one, China has a strategy called “disintegration warfare,” which is designed to literally disintegrate the United States — get us to turn on each other, social division, social chaos, death, et cetera. The second part of the equation is that our political class in Washington really has not talked about it and will not confront China on these points. Those, I think, are the two important elements to this story.

JOHN: You make a point of emphasizing that every claim in your book is backed up by verifiable documentation and sources – and indeed the footnotes run some 100 pages. You’re famous for digging up information no one else was able to find. What were some key materials you unearthed for this book?

PETER: We made use of a lot of leaked documents from the Department of Homeland Security, FBI, and the Department of Justice. We also made use of documents that were hacked, not by us, but were hacked by other parties and were released by journalists in Mexico. These are internal communications from the Mexican police. What we find is that these materials can be very valuable, especially if you know what you’re looking for. A lot of times when hacked or leaked materials are released they can be thousands of pages, so people are looking for low hanging fruit. We find it much better, and you can be more successful, by actually going in knowing what you’re looking for, knowing that you’re panning for gold. So you know where to look for the gold. Those were very, very important tools.

The third component were materials and documents from China itself. We were able to get access to — not classified by any means — but restricted Chinese military documents and government documents from the ministry of propaganda. We got access to those by essentially spoofing a domestic account with a domestic Chinese phone number to gain access to documents that gave us very interesting insights into what they are saying about TikTok. And it’s quite different, obviously, than the debate we’re having in the United States.

Blood Money: Why the Powerful Turn a Blind Eye While China Kills Americans, by Peter Schweizer. (Harper) Hardcover – February 27, 2024.

Courtesy: Harper

JOHN: I found it really striking in the introduction to the book, where you lay out some of these influential documents from the Chinese military that lay out a strategy and talk about this disintegration of warfare. Can you unpack some of the information you learned from those documents?

PETER: Disintegration warfare, is predicated on the idea that the best way to defeat your enemy is by not fighting them. In other words, you are the supreme strategist, as Sun Tzu, the ancient Chinese scholar, would have said. The supreme strategist is the one who defeats his enemy without actually firing a shot. And that’s the strategy. You know, we focus on aircraft carriers and missiles with regards to the military balance with China and I’m not saying we should neglect that, but that’s not their play. Their play is to look at our weaknesses, what they call our soft underbelly – which are the divisions we have in this country – and to exploit them, to turn American against American, and to play off of our decadence. And I would say the strategy is working quite successfully.

If you just look at fentanyl, for example, it is now the leading cause of death for people under the age of 45 in the United States. The vast majority of people dying don’t even know they’re taking fentanyl. And this is a Chinese operation. People want to talk about the Mexican cartels, but they’re really the junior partners in this. The Chinese are running this along every link in the chain. And yet, this is a strategy they call a “murder with a borrowed knife.” In other words, try to kill somebody, but use somebody else’s knife to do it. So while our focus is on Mexico and the drug cartels, this is actually a Chinese operation designed to undermine us. It’s a great example of disintegration warfare.

LISTEN: Hear the full interview with Peter Schweizer on Morning Wire

JOHN: In “Blood Money” you track how China controls every chain in the production, delivery and the money laundering involved with fentanyl. Can you describe some of that process?

PETER: Fentanyl starts with precursors in China. A lot of people know that China provides the vast majority of the precursors the cartels use to make fentanyl. But what people probably don’t know is that those precursors are shipped – 90% of them – to a port in Mexico called Manzanillo. And people wonder why can’t they stop shipments in this port? Well, the problem is the international terminal in Manzanillo is actually run by a Chinese company that’s close to the Chinese military.

The precursors come in from China, they’re then shipped to a small city in northern Mexico, where, according to our federal government, there are 2,000 Chinese nationals who just happen to live in this Mexican city who basically create the fentanyl out of these precursors. They do it for the cartels. Now that the cartels have the fentanyl, they need to put them into pill form. Because, again, people who are dying from fentanyl overdoses, they think they’re taking a Vicodin or an Adderall when they’re actually taking a look-alike pill that is laced with fentanyl.

Plus, they need pill presses. Where do the cartels get the pill presses? Well, they are imported from China, and according to the Department of Homeland Security, the Chinese are selling them to the drug cartels at cost. Meaning they’re not trying to make a boatload of money. They’re selling it to the cartels at cost. They have little molds that make them look exactly like the real pills, even though they’re fake pills.

Now that they have the pills, John, they need to distribute them in the United States. If you’re a drug cartel, you need secure communications. So what do the Mexican cartels use? They use Chinese apps and Chinese communication devices. They’re encrypted in China and they know that the Chinese will not share those with you and U.S. law enforcement.

Then the final component is, if you are a drug cartel like the Sinaloa cartel in Mexico, and you’ve made all this money, you have to launder the money. Now, in the old days of cocaine, you would have laundered the money in Latin American banks. Today, the cartels are laundering their money in Chinese state-owned banks. And, again, according to our federal government, they are oftentimes using Chinese students in the United States on education visas to do so. So again, the cartels are the junior partners here. This is a Chinese operation.

JOHN: Unbelievable. Peter, thank you so much for coming on and good luck with this book.

PETER: Thanks, John.

To listen to the full interview with John Bickley and Peter Schweizer, tune in to Morning Wire

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