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China the ‘greatest threat to democracy and freedom’, US spy chief warns | US foreign policy

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The top US intelligence official has stepped up Donald Trump’s attacks on Beijing, labeling China the biggest threat to democracy and freedom worldwide since the second world war and saying it was bent on global domination.

“The intelligence is clear: Beijing intends to dominate the US and the rest of the planet economically, militarily and technologically,” John Ratcliffe, the director of national intelligence, said in an opinion article in the Wall Street Journal.

Ratcliffe, a former Republican congressman appointed by 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 two”.

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 market place.

He also charged that China had stolen US defense technology to “fuel” an aggressive military modernization plan launched by President Xi Jinping.

Ratcliffe said that Chinese authorities had even “conducted human testing” on members of the Chinese army “in hopes of developing soldiers with biologically enhanced capabilities”.

He did not elaborate on this charge.

The Trump loyalist also called on other countries to recognize that “the world is being presented a choice between two wholly incompatible ideologies”.

Ratcliffe’s Wall Street Journal piece was the latest broadside against China from the Trump administration as it seeks to cement the outgoing president’s tough-on-China legacy.

It is an approach that has taken relations between the world’s two largest economies to their lowest point in decades and analysts say it could limit the incoming Biden administration’s room for maneuver in dealing with Beijing.

Earlier this week, Biden said his priority on China was to build an alliance and pursue trade policies that tackle China’s “abusive practices”.

“The best China strategy, I think, is one which gets every one of our – or at least what used to be our – allies on the same page. It’s going to be a major priority for me in the opening weeks of my presidency to try to get us back on the same page with our allies,” he told the New York Times.

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