Communist China was not interested in military information, national security secrets, or industrial espionage targets (although it's fairly clear from this that anyone who is interested in such things may have a much easier time lifting them from the legislative branch than the executive one). They wanted information on exiled dissidents here in the U.S. Take a look at the consequence Wolf discussed (VOA):
Pressed on the extent to which individuals were compromised by the attack or placed in jeopardy, Wolf had this response: "Yes, they [China] have sent public security police to an individual in Fairfax County [Virginia]," he said. "They photographed her house. She was wise enough to get their license plate. I had the FBI run the license plate, and yes they were Chinese officials in Fairfax County."In other words, the hacking was part of the overarching Communist plot to silence and intimidate anti-Communist exiles outside Communist China - part and parcel with the espionage/intimidation network exposed in Canada three years ago and the ongoing Battle of Flushing between Falun Gong practitioners and Communist-instigated mobs (the Epoch Times has the latest from "the front").
With this new (or, to be more precise, more recently revealed) reality in mind, we can come to certain conclusions:
- The Chinese Communist Party clearly considers exiled dissidents to be a threat at least on par with the United States or any other major power - and perhaps the regime sees the exiles as a greater threat.
- Given that both American political party establishments are drinking the "engagement" Kool-Aid, it must be the reaction at home to these exiles that bothers the regime so much (in particular the contradictions between the image the Party projects and the brutal reality - see the Epoch Times, Newsmax, and the Washington Times for more on this).
- If the cadres are this determined to keep tabs on Chinese dissident exiled across the ocean, what are they doing in the island democracy just across the Formosa Strait (something the leaders of said island democracy might want to keep in mind as they resume talks with the cadres - CNN, Central News Agency via Epoch Times, Washington Post, and Washington Times)?
The larger point is this: for the Chinese Communist Party, the only concern is maintaining power. Nothing else - not China's national interest, not regional harmony, not the wishes of the Chinese people - matters to them. Whatever is an obstacle - as large as the United States and as small as dissidents who seek shelter there - must be watched, restricted, contained, and eventually neutralized.
This is something we must keep in mind whenever the regime tries its heavy hand abroad (say, Tibet - AAP via Epoch Times and Washington Times), refuses to abandon unsavory or dangerous anti-American regimes (Sudan - Washington Post - or North Korea - BBC and the Washington Times). These aren't strange one-offs, or remnant policies from the past that "reformers" can't quite shake. These are the deliberate actions of a regime that does not care what rules, ethics, or people it must violate in order to survive.
The regime's determination to silence exiles in democratic nations should be a warning to all of us: America and her democratic allies will never be secure until China is free.
Cross-posted to the right-wing liberal