A top US intelligence official has stepped up the Trump administration’s harsh attacks on Beijing, labeling China the biggest threat to democracy and freedom worldwide since World War II, ABC News reported.
“The intelligence is clear: Beijing intends to dominate the US and the rest of the planet economically, militarily and technologically,” Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said in an opinion article published in the Wall Street Journal.
He also said China was bent on global domination.
Mr Ratcliffe, a former Republican congressman appointed by President Donald Trump to the top US spy job last spring, said China posed “the greatest threat to America today, and the greatest threat to democracy and freedom worldwide since World War II”.
He said he had shifted resources within the $US85 billion ($114 billion) annual federal budget allocated to intelligence to increase the focus on China.
Mr Ratcliffe said China’s economic espionage approach was threefold: “Rob, Replicate and Replace.”
He said the strategy was for Chinese entities to steal American companies’ intellectual property, copy it and then supplant US companies in the global marketplace.
A spokesperson for the Chinese embassy rejected Mr Ratcliffe’s comments as “fact-distorting” and hypocritical and said they showed “the entrenched Cold-War mindset and ideological prejudices of some people on the US side”.
China’s ambassador to the United States became the latest of the Asian nation’s senior officials to signal a desire to reset the increasingly confrontational relationship as president-elect Joe Biden prepares to take office in January.
Meanwhile, relations between the world’s two largest economies have sunk to their lowest point in decades over issues such as trade, technology, security, human rights and COVID-19.