A top CIA expert on Friday described China’s behavior towards the United States as a “quiet kind of cold war” that aims to replace America as the dominant world power.
And we’re not talking about Beijing’s immature trade war with the Trump Administration.
“I would argue…that what they’re waging against us is fundamentally a cold war – a cold war not like we saw during THE Cold War but a cold war by definition,” said Michael Collins, deputy assistant director of the CIA’s East Asia mission center.
China’s efforts to undermine the United States include:
- Intellectual property theft
- Infiltration of US campuses
- Expanded global influence
- Increased defense spending and military modernization
- Unfair trade deals
According to FBI Director Christopher Wray, China represents the most significant threat to the US in terms of counterintelligence.
“The volume of it. The pervasiveness of it. The significance of it is something that I think this country cannot underestimate,” said Wray, adding that the FBI has active investigations related to China in all 50 states.
At the same time, Washington desperately needs China’s help if it wants to end the nuclear standoff with North Korea.
In March, China announced a defense budget of $175 billion and said it would have the most powerful military force in the world by 2050. China already has the largest ground force, the third-largest air force, and a navy with over 300 ships.
“All of this is in the process of being modernized and upgraded,” said Marcel Lettre, a former defense official who sat on a panel this week with Collins at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado.
Lettre also noted China’s aggressive pursuit of space technology, artificial intelligence, and anti-satellite capabilities. Experts believe China has already developed long-range cruise missiles capable of reaching supersonic speeds.
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