In May 2019, a memorandum of understanding between the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC) and the Irish think tank AsiaMatters was concluded.
At the ceremony, former Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney delivered a speech expressing his hope that this egregiously Faustian deal would allow Ireland to further promote Chinese interests within the EU.
This came as Irish businessman Richard O’Halloran languished in Chinese captivity and several months after confirmation that some 2 million Muslims were being held in reeducation centers in China at the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in Geneva.
Mr. Coveney is in good company, however; his guileless Chinese diplomacy is merely symptomatic of Western leadership perennially besotted both economically and culturally with a Chinese nation where all the nightmares that should have been laid to rest in the 20th century are still very much alive.
Perhaps the most blatant testament to the potency of China’s post-Tiananmen Square propaganda campaigns is the incontrovertible fact that if Fratelli d’Italia, the Law and Justice Party, or any other right-wing administration had millions of ethnic minorities imprisoned in camps or used an extra-judicial police force to persecute and round up religious minorities, the UN would not be brushing aside draft decisions to discuss the issue.
In the wake of Tiananmen Square and the fall of the Soviet Union, the CCP turned to the use of soft power advocated by Wang Huning to cultivate a favorable impression in the international community while simultaneously realising its global ambitions.
To this end, the CCP overhauled its propaganda department, expanding its United Front Work Department and employing similar clandestine methods and stratagems that the Soviet Union and the Comintern used to subvert unions, universities and politics throughout the West in the early decades of the 20th century.
Indeed, the discovery of over $6 billion of unreported donations from not only the CCP but also Russia in a 2020 investigation into institutions of higher education by the US Department of Education serves as an important reminder that the CCP’s efforts would not have met with such resounding success had the Soviet Union not first engendered a precedent of fervent support for extreme left-wing ideologies across all strata of Western leadership.
Against the current background of rising neo-Marxism and the concomitant necessity to reanalyse the modus operandi and mechanics by which communism operates and has come to enjoy such esteem in Western culture comes a remarkable new work of breadth and insight by Japanese intelligence expert and policy analyst Michio Ezaki, The Wakasugi Files: Tracking the Communist Party in the USA and Japan’s Prewar Intelligence Capabilities.
Drawing from the Japanese-language archives and the famed VENONA files, Ezaki presents the fruits of the Home Ministry of Police Affairs Bureau and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ joint investigation into the Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA): an exhaustive account of the Party from its inception, organisation, activities and penetration of American media, unions and academia to the influence it exerted on the Roosevelt administration.
One of the key figures in this counterintelligence by the Japanese authorities was New York Consulate General Kaname Wakasugi, an adept diplomat who was directly involved in the Siberian Intervention during the Russian Revolution, continental policy on the eve of the Second Sino-Japanese War, and the negotiations between Japan and the US to prevent war in the Pacific. On July 25, 1940, Wakasugi submitted a report to Foreign Minister Yosuke Matsuoka titled “Anti-Japanese Activity Within America.”
In this report, he described how the anti-Japanese campaigns within the US were primarily orchestrated by the CPUSA and the Comintern, their success in inspiring anti-Japanese sentiment in the general populace through newspapers, magazines and radio, and how they infiltrated various fields under the pretext of helping China through groups such as the American Committee for Non-Participation in Japanese Aggression, an organisation of American celebrities critical of the Japanese Army’s actions on the Chinese mainland which concealed its CPUSA-affiliated members and instead used socially accredited liberal intellectuals such as Helen Keller to deeply penetrate the general intellectual class in such fields as politics, religion, and the press.
Despite his efforts, the day after Wakasugi’s report arrived Fumimaro Konoe’s cabinet decided upon a foreign policy of cooperation with the Soviet Union and opposition to the US. The Showa Research Group, of which Hotsumi Ozaki of the Sorge Group Soviet spy network was a member, influenced this decision as the cabinet approved its “basic national policy outline,” making the expulsion of American and British forces from Asia in its Great East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere the national cause.
From the communist John Reed Club’s role in organizing the League of American Writers (of which Ernest Hemingway was vice chairman), the internal corruption of the American Newspaper Guild by communist agents and the truth behind the Federal Project Number One to the origins of communism in Hollywood, The Wakasugi Files is as eminently readable as it is academic.
While it will no doubt prompt a long-overdue reappraisal of Japan’s prewar intelligence capabilities and serve as a further rebuff to the Aoife Gallaghers of the world, who still maintain the increasingly untenable position that the anti-communist Red Scares of the 1930s were largely the figment of conservative paranoia, the book also sheds some much-needed light on the origins of some of the communist-aligned organisations still active today.
The most prominent of these organisations are the Industrial Workers of the World and the National Lawyers Guild, both of which are involved with antifascist groups. The Portland General Defense Committee, a local chapter of the IWW, has paid for the legal expenses, housing and new mobile devices of hundreds of antifascists arrested for violent crimes. On the National Lawyers Guild, Wakasugi observed that it is, “effectively a communist-controlled organization…the CPUSA is acutely aware of the need for competent lawyers to fight the threat of reactionary judges who issue injunctions against the activities of the Communist Party, to draft legislation that would eliminate lawful interference with picket rights, to fight employers who violate union agreements, and to conduct political maneuvers in Washington and in state legislatures to prevent the passage of reactionary legislation.”
The Guild’s public declaration of support for antifa in 2017 and its provision of so-called “legal observers” at left-wing riots and protests to capture out-of-context footage to be used against police in lawsuits makes it patently clear that its principles and activities have not changed and that the smokescreen of left-wing egalitarianism inherent in the communism of today remains as thick as ever.
Although there are those who will simper that China is no longer strictly a communist regime, the beaming mug of Mao Zedong that still looms over Tiananmen Square attests to the ever-latent possibility of a return while Xi Jinping’s recent purge of almost all economic expertise from the politburo sets him up perfectly to achieve his professed goal of returning China to its socialist “values.”
Mr. Coveney’s comment in November last year that China “is a huge economy that is growing” would suggest that he and others may be looking to China to offset the economic insecurities posed to Ireland by the interminable issue of Brexit. However, as Japanese economist Yutaka Asaka had pointed out when China’s economy was growing at a rate of 9.5%, its debt was growing by 16.6% and is now likely to be at least $10.6 quadrillion or 800% larger than its GDP. In addition, the average monthly income of more than 600 million Chinese is approximately $160 or less. Front organisations and monetary propaganda whispered by United Front agents into the ears of Palgrave Macmillan, among many, many others, have convinced the world otherwise. Mr. Coveney and the rest of the Irish government would do well to recognise that there are wheels within wheels and that, as Wakasugi strove to tell the world, communist regimes work surreptitiously and offer only Mephistophelian promises.
Note: Michio Ezaki’s The Wakasugi Files: Tracking the Communist Party in the USA and Japan’s Prewar Intelligence Capabilities will be published in English in autumn 2023 Translated by the author.