Ratcliffe: China is Top Threat, US Must Prepare for Confrontation

The spy chief calls on Biden to prioritize China

Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe penned an op-ed for The Wall Stree Journal that was published on Thursday titled, “China Is National Security Threat No. 1.”

Ratcliffe writes: “Beijing intends to dominate the US and the rest of the planet economically, militarily and technologically.” The spy chief goes on to list reasons why Beijing is such a threat, mostly examples of alleged theft of intellectual property.

Ratcliffe writes that China is preparing for an “open-ended period of confrontation” with the US and that Washington should do the same. He made similar comments in an interview with Fox News on Thursday and urged the incoming administration to keep the focus on China, not Russia.

“People that equate other things, or say, oh, you know, Russia is a greater threat, they are politicizing intelligence,” he said. “I am hoping now that the election is over, now that people have voted, and if there is a Biden administration, that they will get past politicizing intelligence and be honest about China and acknowledge that China, and China alone is the greatest national security threat that we face.”

In an interview in October, Joe Biden identified Russia as the greatest security threat and said China was Washington’s top competitor. But Biden is expected to continue some of the Trump administration’s hardline policies against Beijing. Biden said this week that he would not “immediately” lift tariffs on Chinese goods.

A Biden administration is also expected to continue escalations in the South China Sea, where the US sails warships and flies military aircraft to challenge China’s claims. The policy started under the Obama administration, and Biden bragged about flying B-52 bombers to the region during the final presidential debate.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of Antiwar.com, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.