The leadership of the Senate Intelligence Committee released a statement on Friday that identified China as the top threat to US national security. The statement came a day after Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe penned an op-ed where he said China was the “greatest threat” the US has faced since World War II.
The joint statement released by Senator Marc Rubio (R-FL) and Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) reads: “We agree with DNI Ratcliffe that China poses the greatest national security threat to the United States. Our intelligence is clear: the Chinese Communist Party will stop at nothing to exert its global dominance.”
The statement follows the typical line coming out of Washington about China that Beijing does not share US values and is looking to reshape the world in its image. The statement says that the US “must not and cannot accept Beijing’s quest to exert dominance, while dismissing international legal norms and committing egregious human rights abuses to further their goals.”
In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the US rhetoric against Beijing has dramatically ramped up. The Trump administration’s policies have also grown more hostile, increasing sanctions on Chinese officials and firms and increasing US military activity in the Indo-Pacific.
Joe Biden is not expected to differ much from President Trump with respect to Beijing. In an interview this week, Biden said he would not “immediately” lift tariffs on Chinese goods or scrap Trump’s Phase One trade deal.
Biden discussed China again on Thursday and said Beijing does not play by “international norms.” The former vice president said his goal would be to make it “real clear to China there are international rules that if you want to play by, we’ll play with you. If you don’t, we’re not going to play.”