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US Intel: China Top Threat to America  12/04 06:05

   China poses the greatest threat to America and the rest of the free world 
since World War II, outgoing National Intelligence Director John Ratcliffe said 
Thursday as the Trump administration ramps up anti-Chinese rhetoric to pressure 
President-elect Joe Biden to be tough on Beijing.

   WASHINGTON (AP) -- China poses the greatest threat to America and the rest 
of the free world since World War II, outgoing National Intelligence Director 
John Ratcliffe said Thursday as the Trump administration ramps up anti-Chinese 
rhetoric to pressure President-elect Joe Biden to be tough on Beijing.

   "The intelligence is clear: Beijing intends to dominate the U.S. and the 
rest of the planet economically, militarily and technologically," Ratcliffe 
wrote in an op-ed published Thursday in The Wall Street Journal. "Many of 
China's major public initiatives and prominent companies offer only a layer of 
camouflage to the activities of the Chinese Communist Party."

   "I call its approach of economic espionage 'rob, replicate and replace,'" 
Ratcliffe said. "China robs U.S. companies of their intellectual property, 
replicates the technology and then replaces the U.S. firms in the global 
marketplace."

   In Beijing, foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying dismissed the 
editorial as a further move to spread "false information, political viruses and 
lies" in hopes of damaging China's reputation and China-U.S. relations.

   "It offered nothing new but repeated the lies and rumors aimed at smearing 
China and playing up the China threat by any means," Hua said at a daily 
briefing on Friday. "It's another hodgepodge of lies being produced by the 
relevant departments of the U.S. government for some time."

   Trump administration officials have been stepping up their anti-China 
rhetoric for months, especially during the presidential campaign as President 
Donald Trump sought to deflect blame for the spread of the coronavirus . On the 
campaign trail, Trump warned that Biden would go easy on China, although the 
president-elect agrees that China is not abiding by international trade rules, 
is giving unfair subsidies to Chinese companies and stealing American 
innovation.

   The Trump administration, which once boasted of warm relations with Chinese 
President Xi Jinping, also has been ramping up sanctions against China over 
Taiwan, Tibet, trade, Hong Kong and the South China Sea. It has moved against 
the Chinese telecoms giant Huawei and sought restrictions on Chinese social 
media applications like TikTok and WeChat.

   Ratcliffe, a Trump loyalist who has been accused of politicizing the 
position, has been the nation's top intelligence official since May. In his 
op-ed, he did not directly address the transition to a Biden administration. 
Trump has not acknowledged losing the election.

   Ratcliffe said he has shifted money within the $85 billion annual 
intelligence budget to address the threat from China. Beijing is preparing for 
an open-ended confrontation with the U.S., which must be addressed, he said.

   "This is our once-in-a-generation challenge. Americans have always risen to 
the moment, from defeating the scourge of fascism to bringing down the Iron 
Curtain," Ratcliffe wrote in what appeared to be call for action to future 
intelligence officials.

   Biden has announced that he wants the Senate to confirm Avril Haines, a 
former deputy director of the CIA, to succeed Ratcliffe as the next national 
intelligence director.

   "This generation will be judged by its response to China's effort to reshape 
the world in its own image and replace America as the dominant superpower," 
Ratcliffe wrote.

   He cited several examples of Chinese aggression against the United States:

   The Justice Department has charged a rising number of U.S. academics for 
transferring U.S. taxpayer-funded intellectual property to China.

   He noted the theft of intellectual property from American businesses, citing 
the case of Sinoval, a China-based wind turbine maker, which was convicted and 
heavily fined for stealing trade secrets from AMSC, a U.S.-based manufacturer 
formerly known as American Superconductor Inc. Rather than pay AMSC for more 
than $800 million in products and services it had agreed to purchase, Sinovel 
hatched a scheme to steal AMSC's proprietary wind turbine technology, causing 
the loss of almost 700 jobs and more than $1 billion in shareholder equity, 
according to the Justice Department.

   Ratcliffe and other U.S. officials have said that China has stolen sensitive 
U.S. defense technology to fuel Xi's aggressive military modernization plan and 
they allege that Beijing uses its access to Chinese tech firms, such as Huawei, 
to collect intelligence, disrupt communications and threaten the privacy of 
users worldwide.

   Ratcliffe said he has personally briefed members of Congress about how China 
is using intermediaries to lawmakers in an attempt to influence legislation.

 
 
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