No Trouble At The Top

Trouble at the Top
......Hence, in the past, when facing such hard targets, a primary source of information—indeed, perhaps the principal source of information at times—was the timely defection. An official who for one reason or another decides to abandon his country and who has had access through his employment or connections to valuable information can reasonably hope to be welcomed in countries that want the information. Although not as valuable as “agents-in-place,” defectors have been crucial sources of intelligence about governments where information is scant.

As the noose tightens, U.S. intelligence ought to make clear to those Chinese within the government elite that there are safe havens in the West—as long as they are willing to cooperate.

Thanks to China’s economic boom, and the very corruption that Xi now sees as threatening the future of Communist rule in China, many members of the elite have managed to smuggle a massive amount of wealth out of the country. Members of the elite have sent their children to college in the West, especially in the United States and the United Kingdom, and are purchasing real estate in Manhattan, London, and elsewhere in increasingly large numbers.

This is clearly an elite worried about its future. U.S. intelligence is in a position to facilitate defectors’ enjoyment of their wealth in relative security.
Corruption is not as big a threat to Chinese rule as it is a very valuable tool for removing ones enemies. To have one's enemies flee to a foreign country never to return is sometimes even better, particularly if they can become a symbol of the corruption. Even better if they flee to a strategic rival, the propaganda writes itself. This is a great strategy by the U.S. if it wants to steer the nation into direct confrontation with China and once more lose the moral high ground.

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