May 30, 2024 | The Hill

China blasts US open borders even as its citizens pour across

May 30, 2024 | The Hill

China blasts US open borders even as its citizens pour across

Excerpt

The recent surge of Chinese nationals attempting to illegally enter the United States via Mexico has increased 50-fold, from 689 in 2021 to 37,000 in 2023, placing heightened pressure on America’s border management and national security systems.

Yet, today’s crisis goes beyond a simple immigration issue because it involves sophisticated smuggling networks, potential espionage concerns and a strategic effort by China to exploit and amplify long-standing border challenges for propaganda purposes. Addressing these issues requires a compassionate yet vigilant approach, recognizing both the humanitarian needs of legitimate asylum seekers and the Chinese government’s malign intentions. 

The drivers of today’s migrant surge are multifaceted. Economic hardships and political repression in China have driven many citizens to seek better lives abroad. However, these migrant flows are also facilitated by vast Chinese smuggling networks whose operations leverage Chinese social media platforms like WeChat and Douyin, China’s version of TikTok. Here, prospective migrants can find step-by-step instructions about how to illegally enter the United States. These platforms also serve to connect migrants with traffickers, who typically charge thousands of dollars to facilitate their dangerous journey to the border.  

Craig Singleton is the senior director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ China Program and a former U.S. diplomat.  

Issues:

China U.S. Defense Policy and Strategy