US intelligence agencies put China at the top of an annual assessment of supposed threats to national security. The report follows the narrative being spread by Biden administration officials: that China seeks to replace the US as the dominant global power.
The Annual Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community, published by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Tuesday, opens with a section on Beijing titled “China’s Push For Global Power.” The report claims that the Chinese government “will continue its whole-of-government efforts to spread China’s influence, undercut that of the United States, drive wedges between Washington and its allies and partners, and foster new international norms that favor the authoritarian Chinese system.”
The alarmist assessment rattles off the list of typical talking points coming out of Washington concerning China. It cites Beijing’s growing military capabilities, activity in the South China Sea and around Taiwan, and its increased cooperation with Moscow as the reasons to believe China is a threat.
The assessment is the first of the Biden administration and the first from Director of Intelligence Avril Haines and shows that the new administration shares the same views as the previous one. In December, Trump’s DNI John Ratcliffe penned an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal titled “China Is National Security Threat No. 1.” In the article, Ratcliffe declared: “Beijing intends to dominate the US and the rest of the planet economically, militarily and technologically.”
Haines and other US intelligence leaders will participate in hearings on Wednesday and Thursday with the House and Senate intelligence committees on global “threats.” China will likely be the hot topic of the hearings since it is a subject Republican hawks like to grill Biden officials on.
Other federal agencies under President Biden have also made it clear that they perceive China as the top threat, and the hype around Beijing is useful to justify bloated budgets. Biden has requested $753 billion for military spending for the 2022 fiscal year, which would be the highest US military budget of all time. In a release on the requested $715 for the Pentagon, the Defense Department cited China as the top “threat” that the money will be used to confront.