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Does Christine O'Donnell know something about China that you don't?

In a 2006 debate, Christine O'Donnell, the Republican Senate nominee from Delaware, claimed that she had classified information about China's plans to take over America.

The remarks sound like they're straight out of "Red Dawn," the upcoming movie about China's takeover of the United States. Only O'Donnell wasn't just saying her lines.

According to an Associated Press report on Monday, the candidate, who lost in her 2006 primary bid for the Senate, said China had a "carefully thought out and strategic plan to take over America." Responding to an opponent who said that working with China was in U.S. interests, O'Donnell countered: "That doesn't work," she said. "There's much I want to say. I wish I wasn't privy to some of the classified information that I am privy to."

Then she added: "A country that forces women to have abortions and mandates that you can only have one child and will not allow you the freedom to read the Bible, you think they can be our friend?" she asked. "We have to look at our history and realize that if they pretend to be our friend it's because they've got something up their sleeve."

Without touching on the issue of China's secret plans to seize control of the United States, let's look at O'Donnell's allegations. China does force women to have abortions, but it's significantly less commonplace than it was decades ago. China still technically has a one-child policy but official Chinese statistics show that there are 300 million children in China below the age of 14 and 60 million kids from single-child families.

That means 80 percent of China's children live in families with two or more children. In the countryside, most places allow families to have two children if the first child is a girl. This has had the unintended consequence of skewing China's gender balance - 137 boys to 100 girls in some provinces - because families use ultrasound to determine the sex of the child and then abort it if it's a girl.

As to O'Donnell's claim that you can't read the Bible in China, not so. You can get a Bible in Chinese in every city in China. Thousands are printed every year at a printing press in Nanjing.

The issue with religion in China is that you are only allowed to take part in organized religion approved by the state. So "house churches" are banned - although they continue to flourish underneath the radar.

That said, China is in the midst of an explosion of Christianity, mostly of the evangelical Protestant variety. Estimates put the numbers of Protestants in China at more than 60 million -- this in a country where there are 70 million members of the Chinese Communist Party.

O'Donnell said some of her sources were missionaries. That could be true. There are thousands of American missionaries working under semi-cover in China. Many teach English and, because they are supported in part by their churches back home, can afford to accept a lower salary - which makes them attractive candidates for Chinese educational institutions. Most local governments look the other way when they discover the Americans proselytizing.

Finally, there's O'Donnell's call on Americans to look to history to understand that "if they pretend to be our friend it's because they've got something up their sleeve."

It'd be good to remember that thousands of Chinese troops fought and died during World War II when the United States was China's ally against Japan. Communist China was involved in a de facto alliance with the United States that helped bring down the former Soviet Union in the 1970s and 80s.

Yes, the United States fought a war with China over Korea and the U.S. military is paying a lot of attention to Beijing's military build-up, but so far no one else has revealed any secret plans to dominate the United States.

By John Pomfret  | October 5, 2010; 3:08 PM ET
 
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Comments

Why does the headline for the story imply she might actually have information. Since many only read the headline, this should have read "O'Donnell wrong on China."

It would be good see the leads in all these stories start off with "This is not true!"

Posted by: mglantz | October 5, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

"There's much I want to say. I wish I wasn't privy to some of the classified information that I am privy to."

This is where people should realize that this woman is crazy !

Posted by: reefer | October 5, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

....must make her a whiz at foreign policy......kinda like seein' Russia from yer front porch......

Posted by: wp121606 | October 5, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like she has violated federal law by reading classified documents. she should be investigated by the FBI.

If it is found out that she has read classified documents without authorization, then she shouldn't be allowed to read tham as a senator, sicne obviously she can't handle the protocols for classified information.

So, she's either a liar or a felon. Any chance she'll keep her promises to the Tea Party after she's elected, if she can't even keep them now?

Posted by: LeeH1 | October 5, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Oh, Henry, I'll bet you say that to all the girls.

Posted by: mattintx | October 5, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

"Does Christine O'Donnell Know Something about China that you don't"....you are really going with this headline - really!!! Why would you give the impression that she is actually onto something?? Could it be that this sort of teaser headline gets you more readers? Well, I would just like to thank you for giving this ill equiped, and frankly quite dangerous personality a platform to potentially make decisions for me in the Senate.

Posted by: dalyl | October 5, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Coming to CBS this fall:

Christine O'Donnell Stars in...

Secret Agent Witches!

Watch as American Hero Christine O'Donnell casts her magic spells to protect us from terrorists and Chinese invasion!

Posted by: nonvoter | October 5, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

She obviously lacks the unclassified information which suggests that China a) is vastly militarily inferior to the US, and will be for a long time, b) is not capable of taking over the US, and c) stands to lose greatly from treating the US as an adversary. There is no reason for the Chinese to change the status quo. This is a xenophobic, illogical delusion of an uninformed person not fit for national government.

She, along with much of the Republican Congressional and national leadership, demonstrates a complete lack of foreign policy savvy.

Posted by: j762 | October 5, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

The reason O'Donnell will be elected is that while the Left is focused on irrelevancies, the right is very much focused on the tanking ECONOMY, double digit UNEMPLOYMENT, inane TAXATION and totally out of control SPENDING!

November can't come soon enough!

Posted by: 2012frank | October 5, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

O'Donell is just not very educated and there isn't anything more to her. She and people like Palin are the best the Tea Party can come up with. Enough said!

Posted by: sjp879 | October 5, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

I was unaware that electing someone this ridiculously crazy and a bunch of her semi-crazy friends would be the sure-fire way to fix the "tanking ECONOMY, double digit UNEMPLOYMENT, inane TAXATION and totally out of control SPENDING!" I'm going to recheck my answer in this one.

Posted by: patricksaxton | October 5, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

2012frank says:

"the Left is focused on irrelevancies, the right is very much focused on the tanking ECONOMY, double digit UNEMPLOYMENT, inane TAXATION and totally out of control SPENDING!"

You mean the same things EVERYONE but the GOP was focused from 01-09? Inane taxation eh? I guess you dont realize that taxes are at their lowest since Ike was in office. So why were you not outraged at the stunning lack of job growth under Dubya even though his tax cuts for the rich were supposed to create a utopia of jobs? How do you explain his 3.8 million jobs created in the 8 years with the tax cut compared to the 23 million created under Clinton without the tax cut and the 3 million Obama has created in 18 month?

Posted by: rharring | October 5, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Dont badmouth O'Donell! In every Americans there is one O'Donell.

When America foreign policy is more n more relying on some sect leaders who will try every possible means to get voted, how about a new crusador to CHina, God is whispering beside my ears, lol!

Posted by: eastman1 | October 5, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Christine: A country that forces women to have abortions...

WP: China does force women to have abortions, but it's significantly less commonplace than it was decades ago...

Ok, so your saying that Christine is wrong because she did not give the answer the way a China propagandist would? What she said was and still is true.

Posted by: AnotherContrarian | October 5, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Cuckoo! Cuckoo!

I agree with her in principle at least. While everyone is focusing on the Middle East, China is lapping the field.

Posted by: TwoTermObama | October 5, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

It sounds like Christine's ultimate point is the naive discovery that China has an ulterior motive in what it does: it acts in its self interest.

All the nations on earth do the same.

I hope someone asks her how she gets access to US secret information.

Posted by: geneven | October 5, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

The reason O'Donnell will be elected is that while the Left is focused on irrelevancies, the right is very much focused on the tanking ECONOMY, double digit UNEMPLOYMENT, inane TAXATION and totally out of control SPENDING!

November can't come soon enough!

Posted by: 2012frank | October 5, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Oh for goodness sakes! If Republicans were interested in fixing the economy that they screwed up they would have been working WITH the President rather than against him. They would call for the tax cuts for the rich to stop and they would have worked with the Democrats on reforming Wall Street and health care reform.

If they were so concerned about unemployment they would have worked with the Democrats on the bill that would have given tax cuts to businesses. They would also tell gullible people like you that you are paying less taxes under this President . But they would also tell you that you get the country you are willing to pay for. Just as the cost of things for us goes up, so does running the country.

The Republicans have made it very clear. They could care less about the American people. Their only concern is to destroy President Obama and be rewarded for screwing the country for the past two years.

Posted by: catmomtx | October 5, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Here's a link to an article from The Economist explaining China's current one-child policy.

http://www.economist.com/node/16846390?story_id=16846390

The policy is employed far less than people think. I'm not saying I agree with the policy, but accurate details are important when making statements such as Ms. O'Donnell is making. She seems to be using myth and rumor to incite unnecessary fear. Overgeneralization is the main ingredient in sensationalism. As critical thinkers, we need to seek out multiple sources of information and be careful to not believe things out of hand.

In response to Ms. O'Donnell's comment about China wanting to take over America, I think the only thing they'd be interested in taking over is our markets. Money makes the world go 'round.

I appreciated that this article reminds us that alliances change over time. It's counterproductive to hold on to outdated beliefs about other countries. History reveals that most of our "friends" have been our "enemies" at some point. This is the nature of international politics.

Posted by: colleenbaty | October 5, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

I think O'Donnell is full of it, but so is the author of this article. Good thing state mandated abortions are on the decline because having a few is the same as having none at all. Do "flourishing" underground churches negate the fact that the state could shut them down at any time? In WWII China was as much at war with itself as it was with Japan, and was successfully occupied for the entire war. Trying to sugarcoat Chinese history or policy is an inelegant way to handle a clown like Christine O'Donnell

Posted by: bgriffs | October 5, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

You guys are making fun of her for her off the cuff remark about classified documents when the President you support NOMINATED someone to be Secretary of State that claims she was under sniper fire at a reception in Europe. All this from the same party that has nominated a man for US Senate in CT that lied about serving in Vietnam.
Sure, she might be whacky, there's whack jobs and slip ups on both sides... but the way the media has latched on to the hating and mocking of this woman and (Sarah Palin), while sweeping major blunders under the rug by the President and the ruling Party is ridiculous. Hell, go listen to Biden speak and see if he says anything loopy or baseless.
You people sicken me... and I'm a (real) Libertarian that doesn't usually vote Republican.

Posted by: Southernnoise | October 5, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Ditto on the comment about the writer. "Well she might be a little right... they only force a FEW abortions now. No biggie"

Posted by: Southernnoise | October 5, 2010 10:16 PM | Report abuse

If O'Donnell believes China is such a threat, then why is she a Republican? Republican administrations are so devoted to big business interests, that they have had no problem making China the main supplier of cheap crap sold at inflated prices to American consumers. Our industries and jobs disappear and the "cost savings" for employing cheap foreign labor is NOT passed on to the consumer but pocketed by these special folks who have brought you our current economic situation. They don't like paying for their share of govt. services either. At the same time, they've made sure Chinese leaders have ample funding for whatever they have in mind for America, if anything. Hey... just like the Saudis! Marketing is everything to these people.... Wear those flag lapel pins! Use God as a marketing tool to win elections! It doesn't really matter what you are, just what you can make people believe. That, I believe, is the current Republican Party in a nutshell.

Posted by: eileenpage52 | October 5, 2010 10:20 PM | Report abuse

The article ends with "No one has revealed any secret plans to dominate the United States". Yes! Christine must be insane, because the Chinese haven't revealed a secret plan! If the Chinese would step forward and reveal their secret plan, then we might believe O'Donnell. Until the Chinese reveal their plans, we are going to call Christine a witch.
The nutty things WAPO writers put to paper at least rival the things they mock O'Donnell for.

Posted by: chatard | October 5, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Who would ever show O'Donnell a classified document? It would be like giving your 5 year old a book on Warren Buffet's investment strategies. Anyway, we don't have to worry. Sharia law will save us from the Chinese.

Posted by: 54465446 | October 5, 2010 11:05 PM | Report abuse

I think it should be law that anyone trying to run for public office should pass a rigorous IQ and psychiatric test. That will save the country from the tragic possibility of having people like O'Donnell or Bush in the office.

Posted by: sgr_astar | October 6, 2010 12:44 AM | Report abuse

I wonder if she said that before or after she went shopping at Wal-Mart?

The US has plenty of issues with China, and I'm rather loudly critical of many of their activities. I base those criticisms on facts, and their policies in action though. I also am critical of the US government, so it's not like they're somehow getting special treatment.

I am completely certain however that they don't wish to somehow "take over" the USA. While they'd like more international influence, they really don't want to get sucked into the sort of security roles the US takes on internationally too.

While China has plenty of problems internally ranging from entrenched poverty that's a result of their unwillingness to let the value of the Yuan float to realistic levels, to hyper-nationalists who seek to start wars with their neighbors, this just is not one of the problems.

The fact is while China may have many interests & practices that are not compatible with US values, taking over the US is simply not one of their goals. Avoiding conflict with the US is a far greater goal than is confrontation.

Posted by: Nymous | October 6, 2010 1:31 AM | Report abuse

Really amazing that tea party types are attracted to crazies like O'Donnel and Palin. We will be in deep trouble if they begin to run the country.

Posted by: hzhao2004 | October 6, 2010 3:00 AM | Report abuse

I suggest some fact-checking. The article claims we fought side by side with the Chinese Communists in WW II.

In fact, we fought with Chaing Kai-shek. In the struggle after the war between his government and the Chinese Communists under Mao, he lost out and fled to Taiwan. The people we fought with were the predecessors of the Taiwanese government, not the Communists. No?

Posted by: LeeTaylorEMT | October 6, 2010 3:19 AM | Report abuse

While I do not know much about O'Donnell, from the comments reported on in the article, it sounds like a person referring to an economic takeover, not a military one. It is said that China does own a lot of American debt.

Posted by: SCOTSGUARDS | October 6, 2010 6:00 AM | Report abuse

While I do not know much about O'Donnell, from the comments reported on in the article, it sounds like a person referring to an economic takeover, not a military one. It is said that China does own a lot of American debt. Presumably, owning that much American debt can represent a fair amount of economic leverage.

Posted by: SCOTSGUARDS | October 6, 2010 6:00 AM | Report abuse

Where does all that info come from ?

Posted by: jacques3 | October 6, 2010 6:20 AM | Report abuse

Will someone please give this kid and cookie and some warm milk and put her to bed...

Posted by: demtse | October 6, 2010 7:00 AM | Report abuse

She talks before she thinks - if she thinks.

Posted by: MNUSA | October 6, 2010 7:03 AM | Report abuse

The author states:
"Communist China was involved in a de facto alliance with the United States that helped bring down the former Soviet Union in the 1970s and 80s."

Uhm, citations, please?

Posted by: OttoDog | October 6, 2010 7:29 AM | Report abuse

China may or may not desire to take over the US but the problem is that given a few years they probably could because of the US's outrageous amount of debt owed to China which is increasing everyday. There is a question put on the boards here as to why China, knowing of the economically dangerous situation the US is entering into, would continue to loan the US such great amounts of money seeing as they may not be able to be repaid?

Posted by: mlbduffy | October 6, 2010 7:39 AM | Report abuse

the chinese plan is to bankrupt us in afghanistan and iraq...it seems to be working.

Posted by: ssfs20007 | October 6, 2010 8:08 AM | Report abuse

You mean there's another secret plan other than financing all of our Government's debt?

Posted by: WildBill1 | October 6, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

O'Donnell may be nuts, but as the say, even paranoids have enemies. Anyone who thinks that China is not a threat to the United States is really living in a dream world. One child policies or religous freedoms are hardly the issue when the Chinese m,ilitary themselves have openly declared their intent to replace US strategic dominance in the Pacific. And all the democratic Asian nations are relying on this nation to act a a counter balance to China's military and territorial expansion. Check out the Washington Times and Newsweek editorials. China just tested our defense relations with Japan. Bet this is just the beginning.

Posted by: JDAmes | October 6, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure confessing to viewing classified information in public would result in a swift
visit from the C.I.A. for most people. I Think she was reading a transcript for the Glenn Beck show.

Posted by: motown2641 | October 7, 2010 1:37 AM | Report abuse

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