Chinese Influence & American Interests: Promoting Constructive Vigilance

November 29, 2018

The U.S.-China bilateral relationship has become increasingly adversarial. The expanse of the Chinese economy has loomed large for decades, but increasingly China’s growing military and international political power is at the forefront of Western policymakers’ minds. In order for the United States to effectively manage a competitive relationship with China, American society needs to be vigilant about Beijing’s motivations and varied methods for influencing American attitudes towards the PRC. These activities have grown more aggressive and expansive in recent years and threaten to undermine America’s capacity to independently learn about and engage with China.

The Hoover Institution at Stanford University, The Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands, and the Center on U.S.-China Relations at Asia Society convened a group of scholars and policy practitioners who have dedicated their professional lives to the study of China, Asia, and a diversity of political systems. Over the past year, these experts set out to survey the full scope of influence-seeking activities employed by the Chinese Communist Party. This report, which examines China’s efforts to influence American institutions, including state and local governments, universities, think tanks, media, corporations, and the Chinese-American community, differentiates between legitimate efforts, like public diplomacy, and improper interference, which demands greater awareness and a calibrated response.

It is the hope of the working group that the findings of the report will help bolster democratic values and institutions in the United States and elsewhere and spur debate on how to engage with China today.

The views expressed in this publication are solely those of the participants in the workshop and do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff, officers, or Board of Overseers of the Hoover Institution, Sunnylands, Asia Society, or the participants’ affiliated institutions.

For press inquiries please contact the press officer at Hoover Institution Clifton B. Parker at 650-498-5204 or

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