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China 'greatest threat' to freedom, democracy worldwide: US official

Published : Friday, 4 December, 2020 at 4:40 PM  Count : 211

Director of National Intelligence (DNI) John Ratcliffe

Director of National Intelligence (DNI) John Ratcliffe


Director of National Intelligence (DNI) John Ratcliffe is declaring China as the greatest threat to freedom and democracy in the world.

Ratcliffe offered the conclusion in an opinion piece published Thursday in The Wall Street Journal, saying China wants to dominate the U.S. and the rest of the world.

"The intelligence is clear: Beijing intends to dominate the U.S. and the rest of the planet economically, militarily and technologically," Ratcliffe wrote.

"The People's Republic of China poses the greatest threat to America today, and the greatest threat to democracy and freedom world-wide since World War II," he added.

Ratcliffe wrote that China was seeking to spy on U.S. and other companies to strengthen its economy, an effort to "rob, replicate and replace" U.S. businesses. He faulted Beijing for stealing intellectual property, replicating the product or service and then selling it as a competitor on the global marketplace.

The intelligence director also said China was trying to expand its power and influence by installing telecommunications software in various countries, expanding its capabilities in cyberspace, attempting to gain influence in the U.S. as well as other countries through maligned foreign influence campaigns and farming state military secrets to gain an edge on the U.S. military and others.

"China also steals sensitive U.S. defense technology to fuel President Xi Jinping's aggressive plan to make China the world's foremost military power," he said, arguing there is no ethical boundary China will not cross to achieve its objective.

Ratcliffe said the U.S. has shifted resources to address the growing threat, cautioning that U.S. leaders must have a clear plan to address the threat and be prepared for a drawn out power struggle with China.

"To address these threats and more, I have shifted resources inside the $85 billion annual intelligence budget to increase the focus on China," he writes in part. "This shift must continue to ensure U.S. intelligence has the resources it needs to give policy makers unvarnished insights into China's intentions and activities."

Ratcliffe is a former GOP congressman nominated by Trump to lead DNI earlier this year.

Ratcliffe did not mention President-elect Joe Biden in the op-ed.

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