William Burns, Biden’s pick for CIA chief, had tough words for China during his Senate confirmation hearing and identified countering Beijing as a top priority.
“Adversarial, predatory Chinese leadership poses our biggest geopolitical test,” Burns told the Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday. He described China as “a formidable, authoritarian adversary.”
“Out-competing China will be key to our national security in the days ahead,” Burns said. For the CIA, he said this means “intensified focus and urgency, continually strengthening its already impressive cadre of China specialists, expanding its language skills, aligning personnel and resource allocation for the long haul and employing a whole of agency approach.”
Although he focused on China, Burns also mentioned Russia, urging the US not to underestimate what he described as a “declining power.”
Burns’ tirade against Beijing seemed to please the Senate, and he is expected to be easily confirmed. Throughout the confirmation process, Biden nominees have been grilled on Beijing, and all had harsh words for China.
Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines said the US should take an “aggressive stance” against Beijing. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said President Trump “was right in taking a tougher approach to China.” Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin identified China as the “most significant threat” to the US military.
Besides the rhetoric, the Biden administration has reshuffled the National Security Council to focus on Asia, reducing the staff that works on Middle East issues. The Pentagon is currently conducting a review of the US military’s posture in Asia and its overall China policy. The review is being led by Ely Ratner, a China hawk who co-authored an op-ed last year titled “Trump Has Been Weak on China, and Americans Have Paid the Price.”
3 thoughts on “Biden’s CIA Nominee Identifies China as Top ‘Adversary’”
What? Burns didn’t name Russia as the top adversary! Will wonders never cease?
How many nations view the United States as their top military and economic adversary?
The US has been anti-China since (at least) the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, a part of the century of humiliation, also known as the hundred years of national humiliation. This was the term used in China to describe the period of intervention and subjugation of the Chinese Empire and the Republic of China by Western powers, Russia and Japan between 1839 and 1949. That included the military occupation of China by Western powers. The US Marines were there. But that’s over now, with the US about to suffer its century of humiliation, probably not with Chinese military occupation.
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