US Intel: China Top Threat to America 12/04 06:05
China poses the greatest threat to America and the rest of the free world
since World War II, outgoing National Intelligence Director John Ratcliffe said
Thursday as the Trump administration ramps up anti-Chinese rhetoric to pressure
President-elect Joe Biden to be tough on Beijing.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- China poses the greatest threat to America and the rest
of the free world since World War II, outgoing National Intelligence Director
John Ratcliffe said Thursday as the Trump administration ramps up anti-Chinese
rhetoric to pressure President-elect Joe Biden to be tough on Beijing.
"The intelligence is clear: Beijing intends to dominate the U.S. and the
rest of the planet economically, militarily and technologically," Ratcliffe
wrote in an op-ed published Thursday in The Wall Street Journal. "Many of
China's major public initiatives and prominent companies offer only a layer of
camouflage to the activities of the Chinese Communist Party."
"I call its approach of economic espionage 'rob, replicate and replace,'"
Ratcliffe said. "China robs U.S. companies of their intellectual property,
replicates the technology and then replaces the U.S. firms in the global
In Beijing, foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying dismissed the
editorial as a further move to spread "false information, political viruses and
lies" in hopes of damaging China's reputation and China-U.S. relations.
"It offered nothing new but repeated the lies and rumors aimed at smearing
China and playing up the China threat by any means," Hua said at a daily
briefing on Friday. "It's another hodgepodge of lies being produced by the
relevant departments of the U.S. government for some time."
Trump administration officials have been stepping up their anti-China
rhetoric for months, especially during the presidential campaign as President
Donald Trump sought to deflect blame for the spread of the coronavirus . On the
campaign trail, Trump warned that Biden would go easy on China, although the
president-elect agrees that China is not abiding by international trade rules,
is giving unfair subsidies to Chinese companies and stealing American
The Trump administration, which once boasted of warm relations with Chinese
President Xi Jinping, also has been ramping up sanctions against China over
Taiwan, Tibet, trade, Hong Kong and the South China Sea. It has moved against
the Chinese telecoms giant Huawei and sought restrictions on Chinese social
media applications like TikTok and WeChat.
Ratcliffe, a Trump loyalist who has been accused of politicizing the
position, has been the nation's top intelligence official since May. In his
op-ed, he did not directly address the transition to a Biden administration.
Trump has not acknowledged losing the election.
Ratcliffe said he has shifted money within the $85 billion annual
intelligence budget to address the threat from China. Beijing is preparing for
an open-ended confrontation with the U.S., which must be addressed, he said.
"This is our once-in-a-generation challenge. Americans have always risen to
the moment, from defeating the scourge of fascism to bringing down the Iron
Curtain," Ratcliffe wrote in what appeared to be call for action to future
Biden has announced that he wants the Senate to confirm Avril Haines, a
former deputy director of the CIA, to succeed Ratcliffe as the next national
"This generation will be judged by its response to China's effort to reshape
the world in its own image and replace America as the dominant superpower,"
He cited several examples of Chinese aggression against the United States:
The Justice Department has charged a rising number of U.S. academics for
transferring U.S. taxpayer-funded intellectual property to China.
He noted the theft of intellectual property from American businesses, citing
the case of Sinoval, a China-based wind turbine maker, which was convicted and
heavily fined for stealing trade secrets from AMSC, a U.S.-based manufacturer
formerly known as American Superconductor Inc. Rather than pay AMSC for more
than $800 million in products and services it had agreed to purchase, Sinovel
hatched a scheme to steal AMSC's proprietary wind turbine technology, causing
the loss of almost 700 jobs and more than $1 billion in shareholder equity,
according to the Justice Department.
Ratcliffe and other U.S. officials have said that China has stolen sensitive
U.S. defense technology to fuel Xi's aggressive military modernization plan and
they allege that Beijing uses its access to Chinese tech firms, such as Huawei,
to collect intelligence, disrupt communications and threaten the privacy of
Ratcliffe said he has personally briefed members of Congress about how China
is using intermediaries to lawmakers in an attempt to influence legislation.