Kelly John Walker
In its relentless quest for global hegemony, the Chinese Communist Party knows no bounds.
Arguably the world’s most oppressive regime, the CCP has one overarching goal: to promote the interests of the Party, spreading its ideology and control to every corner of the globe.
That said, the United States and its western allies stand firmly in their way.
The CCP is keenly aware that it is not yet able to destroy the West at a kinetic level of warfare. In a head-to-head confrontation with the U.S. and its allies, China would be outmatched—literally outgunned, militarily.
However, there are devastating ways to wage asymmetrical warfare to undermine and weaken the U.S. while simultaneously bolstering the CCP’s military objectives and capacity to wage war in multiple theaters.
The Three Warfares
The CCP works from a premise of “three warfares” (san zhan): public-opinion warfare, psychological warfare and legal warfare. These three interrelated and mutually reinforcing systems can hamstring the strategic and tactical capacities of the U.S. and its allies—even including their military capabilities.
The CCP has learned to use the robust U.S. legal system to weaken America’s standing as the world’s leading superpower. Tactics collectively known as “lawfare” exploit both the strengths and weaknesses of American law and litigation to tie up, obstruct, undermine, and divide the U.S. internally and on the global stage.
Lawfare is a major component of fifth-generation warfare, which uses information and data to exploit and redefine cognitive biases, manipulate worldviews and destroy opponents from within.
“The CCP understood they needed the West to advance, and they are still taking advantage of that,” according to retired U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Robert Spalding. “Thus, the only option is for us to completely decouple and prevent our citizens from engaging with China.”
It is critical that U.S. lawmakers, policymakers, and military leadership understand China’s three warfares strategy and meet their threat head-on.
A merely defensive posture plays into the CCP’s intent to immobilize U.S. companies, governmental agencies, and military powers through endless litigation and the manipulation of public opinion.
Ultimately, lawfare is a means of achieving military objectives—while constraining the West’s ability to employ its martial advantages—making it a serious threat to U.S. national security.
The first step in defeating these tactics is, as Sun Tzu wrote, to understand the enemy. The second is to use that understanding to formulate offensive and preemptive strategies to beat the CCP at its own game.
It is important to understand that the CCP will hold its opponents to legal and ethical standards that it has no intention of following itself.
Lawfare “involves ‘arguing that one’s own side is obeying the law, criticizing the other side for violating the law, and making arguments for one’s own side in cases where there are also violations of the law,’” wrote Dean Cheng, a former senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation’s Asian Studies Center.
“Like the Soviets, the CCP’s dictators are never shy of saying that law is the party’s instrument to destroy enemies,” wrote Bradley A. Thayer and Lianchao Han, and “the Communist Party always remains above the law.”
The ends sought by the CCP justify the means—even if the means include deceit, racism and human-rights abuses.
As Cheng wrote, “current PRC behavior suggests that one should not necessarily expect the Chinese to refrain from engaging in activities they condemn in others.”
This approach is essentially “unrestricted lawfare,” the use and abuse of the U.S. legal system by the CCP to weaken America, break the will of the people, and exert its political influence beyond its own borders, weaponizing the American judicial system to persecute Chinese dissidents on American soil and punish whistleblowers.
The CCP has demonstrated before the watching world a willingness to use mass murder to further its agenda, so it comes as no surprise that anti-Semitism is not off-limits.
Antisemitism as a Weapon: A Current Case Study
Witness the legal persecution of high-profile Chinese dissident, Ho Wan Kwok (“Miles Guo”).
This ongoing battle is a cautionary tale in real-time that needs to spark a conversation about whether U.S. law firms should represent the interests of the CCP, knowingly or by default.
In early December 2022, Elliot Dordick—a Jewish–American lawyer—filed an ethics complaint with the attorney grievance committee of New York’s First Judicial Department against Paul Hastings LLP and four of its attorneys, including two partners.
The complaint stems from filings by those Paul Hastings LLP attorneys in an ongoing bankruptcy proceeding (case number 22-50073) in Connecticut involving Miles Guo.
Dordick posted the entirety of his complaint to Twitter, asking, “Why would these Paul Hastings LLP attorneys repeatedly cite a notoriously anti-Semitic, racist, anti-immigrant website in federal court to attack a Chinese dissident seeking asylum in the U.S. without telling the court of the nature of their source?”
Why would these Paul Hastings LLP attorneys repeatedly cite a notoriously antisemitic, racist, anti-immigrant website in federal court to attack a Chinese dissident seeking asylum in the U.S. *without* telling the court of the nature of their source? pic.twitter.com/OyGdSaRsyR
— Elliot Dordick (@elliotdordick) December 5, 2022
The source in question is the Unz Review, a website founded by Ron Unz, who the Anti-Defamation League said “has denied the Holocaust, endorsed the claim that Jews consume the blood of non-Jews, and has claimed that Jews control the media, hate non-Jews, and worship Satan.”
According to Dordick’s complaint, Chapter 11 Trustee Luc Despins and other Paul Hastings attorneys substantively cited the Unz Review at least five times over several pages to justify their beliefs about Guo’s alleged actions.
The Unz Review article cited by Despins and the other Paul Hastings LLP attorneys was written by Pepe Escobar, who the U.S. State Department said is involved in disinformation campaigns by foreign, authoritarian states.
Dordick pointed out that while Despins and the other Paul Hastings LLP attorneys made sure to remind the bankruptcy court of its obligation to view the Department of Justice-appointed bankruptcy trustee’s evidence with deference, they “conveniently” failed to mention noteworthy aspects of the evidence’s source.
On Twitter, Dordick continued, “I’m stunned to see this coming from such a prestigious firm. I took it upon myself to file the ethics complaint attached to these posts immediately upon discovering their actions. This legitimization of such an outrageous source has no place in our courtrooms.”
I’m stunned to see this coming from such a prestigious firm. I took it upon myself to file the ethics complaint attached to these posts immediately upon discovering their actions.
This legitimization of such an outrageous source has no place in our courtrooms. pic.twitter.com/62AG5c2kOg
— Elliot Dordick (@elliotdordick) December 5, 2022
Infiltrating the DOJ
Guo has said in several videos posted to GETTR that Despins has a close connection to and partnership with the Pacific Alliance Group (PAG) in communist China.
“The appointment,” according to an Aussie Brief News story, “has an obvious conflict of interest and also reflects the infiltration of the U.S. judiciary system using unrestricted warfare tactics. Luc A. Despins is a partner of the law firm Paul Hastings LLP, which has developed business relations with PAG in a $671M bid for Spring REIT … and many other companies tied with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).”
Guo has also “questioned the appointment of Luc A. Despins,” according to the Aussie Brief News, “asking why such appointment will be allowed by the U.S. Department of Justice. He said the appointment is unbelievable and that the CCP can heavily influence the U.S. Department of Justice.”
“The infiltration of the U.S. judiciary system accumulated over the years,” according to the report, “as the CCP’s judicial unrestricted warfare plan intended.”
Dordick requested that the attorney grievance committee office to which he submitted his complaint investigate Paul Hastings LLP, Despins, and other Paul Hastings LLP attorneys for potential ethics violations of rules related to dishonesty, deceit, and misrepresentation, conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice, conduct that adversely reflects on a lawyer’s fitness as a lawyer, and the failure to adequately supervise lawyers at the firm.
“How could Paul Hastings LLP possibly claim it properly oversees its attorneys if they lend credibility to sources of hatred in federal court?” Dordick wrote in a post on GETTR.
Supporters of the New Federal State of China (NFSC), a movement seeking to take down the CCP and liberate the Chinese people, flooded the comments sections of Dordick’s social media posts with messages of support and solidarity with the Jewish community.
Comments on his posts indicate NFSC supporters’ strong opposition to any promotion of antisemitic outlets in federal court by anyone, let alone attorneys at influential or respected law firms.
Additionally, several noteworthy figures in the Jewish community, including but not limited to, former U.S. Deputy Special Envoy to Combat Antisemitism Ellie Cohanim, Newsweek Opinion Editor Josh Hammer, and former New York State Representative Dov Hikind shared Dordick’s social media posts.
The struggle between Guo and Paul Hastings LLP is just one battle amid a war for hearts, minds, and, ultimately, global hegemony. The U.S. government would do well to commit significant resources and scrutiny to ensure this is a war it does not lose.