The head of the American intelligence services today classified China as the “greatest threat to democracy and freedom in the world since World War II”, at a time of rapid deterioration in the bilateral relationship.
“The People’s Republic of China today represents the greatest threat to America and the greatest threat to democracy and freedom in the world since World War II,” wrote United States Director of National Intelligence, John Ratcliffe, in an opinion article published by Wall Street Journal,
John Ratcliffe accused the Asian country of usurping trade secrets and defense technologies to American industry.
The head of the Donald Trump Administration also described operations carried out by Chinese agents to influence or compromise members of the United States Congress, through economic pressure.
The intelligence chief warned of a scenario in which factories owned by Chinese and employing thousands of Americans can influence union leaders to turn against members of Congress who support policies that displease Beijing.
“The union leader gets in touch with his legislator and indicates that his union members will not support his re-election. He tells himself that he is protecting his members, but at that moment the union leader is carrying out China’s orders, and the congressman is being influenced by China, whether he realizes it or not, ”said John Ratcliffe.
“Our intelligence shows that Beijing regularly conducts this type of influence operation in the United States,” he wrote. “Chinese leaders seek to subordinate the rights of the individual to the will of the Communist Party (CCP).”
The official said he had changed the annual budget of $ 85 billion (€ 70 billion) for intelligence services to increase the focus on China.
Beijing is preparing for “an open, long-term confrontation with the United States. Washington must also be prepared, ”he warned.
Relations between China and the United States have hit their lowest point in more than 30 years, shaken by a protracted trade and technological war, disputes over Hong Kong’s status, the sovereignty of the South China Sea or human rights abuses. Humans in the Asian country.
This week, the United States Government approved new and stricter rules aimed at restricting the entry of members of the Chinese Communist Party into its territory.
The new restrictions shorten the duration of visas for CCP members and direct family members from 10 years to one month. The rest of Chinese citizens can continue to apply for a 10-year, multiple-entry visa.
The US State Department said the CCP’s members are “hostile to American values” and are involved in “evil activities”.
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