The arrest of Zhang Yujing on March 30 at the reception area of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida, with a thumb drive with malicious software on it, four mobile phones, a laptop, and an external hard drive — in addition to the nine thumb drives and a device used to detect hidden cameras found in her hotel room — does make one wonder what this spyware on a Chinese woman, who flew into the U.S. from Shanghai two days earlier, is doing in America?
Zhang has not been charged for any espionage charges yet. She has merely been charged for lying to Secret Service agents and entering restricted space.
Spyware has many shapes and forms. The U.S. government believes these include Chinese madams in Florida spas, mainland Chinese students, Confucius Institutes on U.S. campuses, Chinese company research grants to U.S. universities and Chinese equipment made by Huawei and ZTE. Human assets and technology.
Both the U.S. and China spy on each other any way they can. China, however, appears to be aggressively and clumsily over-playing its hand and getting caught a lot more than the U.S. Not smart as the U.S. 2020 presidential election kicks off with China bashing being a staple political tool in presidential campaign sloganeering kits.
China is giving China bashers, not to mention the U.S. trade negotiators trying to negotiate a trade deal with China and eliminate tariffs, fresh ammunition to support their China bashing hard lines that the U.S. media reruns daily, and in many cases, hourly.
These reruns are the primary reason Americans trust in China has declined over the last three years and given Trump the strong support he has for his negotiating positions on trade and tariffs against China, as his re-election campaign kicks off — kicking China.
China bashing in U.S. political campaigns is a subject I have written about at length in my Custom Maid trilogy. China is not doing itself any favors with the American public or politicians by Beijing continuing to give China bashers the anti-China fodder that feeds their bashing political machines.
To reduce and minimize China bashing in America during the upcoming U.S. presidential and congressional elections in 2020 — and to conclude a trade agreement with America — China has to get a lot smarter on how and when it uses its spyware.