As someone who grew up in the world of intelligence – or to use the more sexy word – spys, the China spy story out on Axios today and being continued on the Fox channel is an interesting lesson on what goes on and how important it is that countries like China, Russia, Israel, the European Union etc see the US – AND how a democratic system gives opportunities to influence what the US does. The fact is that though Fox puts out the half truth that the Chinese were targeting Democrats the truth is that BOTH Democrats AND Republicans were targeted.
The point is not to influence one political party over another, the point is to choose who is going to have influence in the future and who is not. The party affiliation does not matter. Another commentator I saw on Fox was selling the idea that it was China and NOT the Russians who were trying to influence the 2016 election. Her point was to once again push the idea of the “Russia hoax”. The point is that commentator does not know how intelligence works. Russia does try to influence the US government. So does China, so do many other countries. One of the most successful after all is Israel. Both China and Israel have an advantage over other countries in that they can find local American US citizens who have ancestral roots that might help them influence an election in the US.
By the way, when I lived in Lebanon and my father was doing his CIA stuff the US also supported “friendly” local politicians, some who did not even know they were being supported by the US. We did it through back channels. The Soviets, French, English etc also did the same thing. We sometimes supported an “unfriendly” who was even more unfriendly to the Soviets. The enemy of my enemy is my friend.