New group launches to combat Chinese Communist Party influence across US: ‘Poses a major threat’

A new group is set to launch Wednesday to combat Chinese Communist Party (CCP) influence in the United States, Fox News Digital has learned.

State Armor, a nonprofit organization, will concentrate on global security threats and will begin by working to expose “malign CCP influence operations” to the public and lawmakers nationwide. 

“States are now on the front lines against foreign adversaries. In fact, for years states have been targeted by well-resourced, technologically sophisticated foreign adversaries, particularly communist China,” State Armor founder and CEO Michael Lucci told Fox News Digital in a statement. 

“The Chinese Communist Party is engaged in a broad effort to supplant the United States so it can rewrite global norms according to its authoritarian model,” Lucci said. “To achieve its goals, the CCP aggressively pursues a strategy to gain economic leverage over state and local governments, to make states dependent on their technologies, and to suppress the First Amendment-protected speech of Chinese dissidents within America.”

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President Xi Jinping of China. (getty images  |   istock)

State Armor will focus on four primary areas to position itself as a leading research and educational source for state and local governments, including protecting critical infrastructure, building what it calls “supply chains of freedom,” or sourcing products from free nations, stopping influence operations and preparing state supply chains if China were to invade Taiwan. 

The group will work to mobilize a network ranging from citizens to experts to “aid states in developing and implementing comprehensive, common sense, and bipartisan solutions to protect themselves from what is widely regarded as a generation-defining foreign threat.”

According to State Armor, they are currently working on passing several pieces of legislation or executive orders in more than 12 states. 

“State Armor is going to bring awareness and ready-for-action plans to push counter-China policies that many of our state leaders know need to get done, but just aren’t sure where to start,” former U.S. National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien said.

“It’s no secret the Chinese Communist Party poses a major threat to the American way of life, but until now there hasn’t been a group solely focused on taking on Communist China at the state level,” O’Brien added. “This issue is not partisan. States want to take action; State Armor will be there to show them how.”

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The flag of China is flown behind a pair of surveillance cameras outside the Central Government Offices in Hong Kong, China, on Tuesday, July 7, 2020.  (Roy Liu/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The National Counterintelligence and Security Center, contained within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, released a report in 2022 on how the CCP is employing a strategy with state and local governments, including growing support for their interests among state and local leaders and leveraging the connections “to pressure Washington for policies friendlier to Beijing.”

“The [People’s Republic of China] understands U.S. state and local leaders enjoy a degree of independence from Washington and may seek to use them as proxies to advocate for national U.S. policies Beijing desires, including improved U.S. economic cooperation with China, and reduced U.S. criticism of China’s policies towards Taiwan, Tibetans, Uyghurs, pro-democracy activists, and others,” the report states. 

State Armor will move to combat such operations and has received support from individuals in the security realm. 

Alex Gray, a former deputy assistant to the president and chief of staff of the White House National Security Council, who is now the CEO of American Global Strategies LLC, is one individual who will throw his weight behind the group.

BEIJING, CHINA – DECEMBER 16: Chinese president Xi Jinping is seen in a video as people visit the Museum of the Communist Party of China on December 16, 2021 in Beijing, China. The museum was officially opened in June 2021, the year the party celebrated the 100th anniversary of its funding. (Photo by Andrea Verdelli/Getty Images)

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“U.S. states are on the front line of the long-term competition between the United States and the [People’s Republic of China] and a responsible American strategy requires proactive preparation at the state level,” Gray said.

“State Armor will provide the organizing power needed at the state level to spur that preparation and address the dangers of Chinese Communist Party influence and access in the states. The time for action is here, and State Armor will be critical in leading the way.”

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