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Russia or China? Who Really Tried to Influence the U.S. Election?

Eight years ago, the Chinese Communist regime had to worry about what the US thinks; and now, the roles have reversed.  (Image:  Krassotkin  via   Wikimedia Commons  /  CC BY-SA 3.0)
Eight years ago, the Chinese Communist regime had to worry about what the US thinks; and now, the roles have reversed. (Image: Krassotkin via Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0)

The White House recently announced that President Obama ordered U.S. intelligence agencies to conduct an investigation into hacking attacks related to the U.S. election, ostensibly orchestrated by Russia. The White House strongly indicated that Russia intended to influence the outcome of the U.S. election. Reading into this news, I encountered many points to vehemently disagree with, thus prompting my commentary in response.

Throughout Obama’s 8-year presidency, the world has rapidly spiraled downwards in many respects, including an alarming increase in human rights violations in many countries, and the pervasive deterioration of democracy. In parallel, the United States of America, the country widely seen as the leader of democratic nations and the champion of human rights and democracy, gradually weakened, while the communist regime of China — the country widely seen as the leader of the authoritarian states, and the main bulwark of corruption, cronyism, and crimes against humanity — substantially strengthened.

The U.S. has never faced such huge challenges to its leadership since World War II. Marxism and communism appear to be on the rise again. These woes can be attributed to Obama’s continuous appeasement of Communist China.

When Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leader Hu Jintao visited the U.S. in 2011, a Chinese pianist — who also leads a CCP affiliate, the All-China Youth Federation — played a song named My Motherland at the White House. It is the theme song from the movie Shanggan Ridge, a CCP-produced film depicting the Korean War.

The song is well known in China for its praise of anti-American communist heroes. Back then, we protested against this via the use of media, hoping that President Obama would condemn the insult from the communist regime. Yet Obama glossed it over with a statement that it was just a piece of art and people should not over interpret it.

This was a watershed. Ever since then, the pro-Communist Chinese living overseas started attacking the United States without restraint. The attack was originally through words, and slowly evolved into cyber warfare and other methods.

Today, learning of Obama’s order to thoroughly investigate alleged hacker attacks from Russia, my reaction was to say: “Really? — Why didn’t he ever have a thorough investigation of the cyber-attacks from the CCP?”

In fact, the CCP’s cyber-attacks against the United States are much more serious than those from Russia. The US government has published its assessment that China is the most serious cyber-attack threat against the U.S. Chinese hackers attack almost anything.

They attack government agencies, military facilities, financial institutions, non-government organizations, and even traffic command centers. According to the U.S. government, last year, Chinese hackers broke into the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) system.

Information related to at least 4 million current or former federal employees was leaked, including employee work assignments, performance scoring, and training-related information. They also reportedly created a Facebook-like system that organized the stolen information and made it easier to retrieve.

One of my friends is a senior executive at JP Morgan/Chase Bank. He told me that his bank had been attacked by Chinese hackers, but hesitated to speak up for fear of losing its customers, thus causing serious jeopardy to its business.

Google finally withdrew from the Chinese market as a result of the CCP’s unscrupulous attack on Gmail and demands for private personal information about Google’s users. Google explicitly revealed that the CCP had been massively attacking email accounts owned and used by Chinese dissidents such as myself, and stealing our personal information.

In fact, although physically located in the United States, every day we are enduring dozens or even hundreds of hacker attacks, most of which are from China. There was one instance where an attack on my computer was verified to be from a company in Changsha, China, affiliated to the CCP’s Ministry of State Security.

It may not be surprising because even though the White House, Congress, and the Department of Defense get attacked by CCP military hackers repeatedly, Obama has never ordered such a high-profile, thorough investigation as the one for Russia’s hackers today, and Obama never took any effective counter measures.

If Obama really wanted to counter the malice of the CCP, he has many ways to push back. If he can freeze the assets of Russian leaders, then he can freeze the assets of Chinese leaders in the United States. Other measures could be to deny U.S. visas to CCP officials (and their families) who are connected to human rights violations, as well as publish and confiscate property owned by CCP human rights violators in the United States.

He could also impose high tariffs on low-priced products imported from China, demand that American companies operating in China comply with U.S. labor laws. He could bring antitrust lawsuits against Chinese stated-owned enterprises, take civil actions against Chinese companies involved in large-scale infringement of intellectual property rights in the US, and even expel the families of CCP officials who violated U.S. national interests.

Over the past several years, the human rights situation in Communist China has worsened dramatically, while the Obama administration has become closer with the CCP, turning a blind eye to its atrocious abuses of human rights. Concurrently, he continues to appease other communist dictatorship countries that also violate human rights, such as Cuba and Vietnam.

On the other hand, the Obama White House regards Russia — which went democratic — as a major enemy, and treats the elected Russian president (rather than the highly authoritarian Castro brothers, or the brutal CCP dictators) as a human rights villain. Just because U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has simply said:

When WikiLeaks revealed that Hillary Clinton praised the CCP leaders for their sophistication, excellence, and spirit of reform, the same media failed to condemn Hillary for coddling CCP tyrants who have slaughtered protesting students at Tiananmen Square (1989), and brutally persecuted Falun Gong, underground Christians, and other ethnic minorities (up to the present day).

On the contrary, media welcomed the rhetoric as being politically savvy and showing Hillary’s good skills at dealing with dictators. What is more intolerable is that, while Obama vowed to thoroughly investigate a Russian attempt to interfere in the U.S. election with hacking attacks, he failed to remember that his close ally Hillary, through a variety of directly or indirectly improper ways, had received huge sums of campaign contributions from other dictatorships much worse than Russia, including the CCP.

The Hillary Campaign even openly discussed whether they should accept donations from other governments. Attempts to influence U.S. elections through campaign donations is far more serious than information leaks published by hackers. Obama does not try to stop these alleged actions that can potentially violate U.S. national interests, but gets carried away by factual information leaks released by a couple of hackers.

For a President of the United States, this should be a serious dereliction of duty, and Obama should be held accountable for his heinous actions. As for these hackers, if the information they disclose is true, then in my opinion, they should not be pursued, and should instead be thanked.

We should thank them for unveiling the shadows that lurk in American politics, thank them for removing the many window shutters that have shielded the American people’s eyes from the truth and allowing the American populace to make the right choice, and thank them for providing U.S. authorities with evidence of serious criminal violations.

Obama has long treated Russia as the number one enemy while appeasing the Chinese Communist Party. This is a huge mistake. In fact, not only is China’s human rights situation much worse than Russia’s, but also the harm caused by Communist China to the United States is far greater than that by Russia.  China is the primary troublemaker on the North Korean issue, the South China Sea drama, and the anti-terrorism efforts in the Middle East.

CCP agents once told me that they have found a way to deal with the U.S.: use money and other benefits to buy corrupted politicians in the United States to carry water for the Chinese Communist Party. In fact, these corrupted politicians, in order to obtain a steady flow of campaign funds to maintain their political status, are not shy about doing things that will hurt the American people and violate the national interests of the U.S.

Two years ago, the office of mayor of New York City, the most important city in the United States, almost fell into the hands of a CCP’s representative. The CCP not only buys and infiltrates American politics, but also attempts to influence America’s decision-making in other areas — to the point where Americans, especially American politicians, have to worry about possible serious repercussions if they even just casually say something that could make the CCP unhappy.

One of my friends, Guo Baosheng, was recently persuaded to quit by his divinity school. This is a perfect example. The divinity school has made no secret of the reason behind their move, in light of Mr. Guo’s engagement in human rights and pro-democracy activities against the Chinese Communist Party, and his frequent expressions of support for Taiwanese people seeking independence.

Because I fiercely criticize the CCP, I have been blocked by Voice of America, a media outlet funded by the United States Congress, not to mention other Chinese media, which have been bought and infiltrated by the Chinese Communist Party.

I have been engaging in human rights and pro-democracy activities in the U.S. for more than 20 years. In recent years, it has become apparent to me not only that China’s human rights situation deteriorated sharply, but also that our freedom of speech in the U.S. and in other democratic countries, including Taiwan, has been squeezed dramatically.

Mainstream media in the U.S. and other countries have become increasingly cautious about criticizing the CCP in fear of offending them. One of the most obvious examples is that almost all the mainstream media around the world have avoided reporting on Falun Gong, the most widely persecuted spiritual group in China, because Falun Gong is the most targeted group by the CCP.

Nowadays, even the president-elect, who has not officially taken office yet, has been lambasted not only by the CCP, but also the U.S. political establishment, and mainstream media, as if he had done something dramatically wrong just by taking a congratulatory phone call from Taiwan’s elected president.

My biggest question, over the years, has been:

Why should all Americans have to pay the consequences, just because a few American politicians were bought by the CCP? Fortunately, the Obama era is coming to an end. Otherwise, the U.S. would be in grave danger.

Decade_panel_Tang_Baiqiao

 

This article was written by Baiqiao Tang, who was a leader of students during China’s 1989 pro-democracy uprising, and is the author of  My Two Chinas and Anthems of Defeat.

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