Director of National Security John Ratcliffe has been speaking out lately to help the American public understand that China is now the greatest threat to the United States and it is becoming bolder and more aggressive in its actions. Ratcliffe says that China, “intends to dominate the U.S. and the rest of the planet economically, militarily, and technologically.”
Director of National Security John Ratcliffe wants Americans to be fully aware of the current geopolitical reality: Russia is not the greatest threat to America, China is. To ensure that Americans are not confused by politically motivated narratives, Ratcliffe wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal so he could address the public directly. He warns that China under the control of the Chinese Community Party (CCP) is a grave threat to America’s national security through its theft of intellectual property, cyberattacks, spying, and a rapidly growing economy, military, and space industry. Ratcliffe hopes that if Biden is confirmed as the duly elected President, his administration will not ease up on China.
Ratcliffe sought to cut through the political rhetoric of the current election cycle and make it unequivocally clear: “The People’s Republic of China poses the greatest threat to America today, and the greatest threat to democracy and freedom worldwide since World War II.”
“One country and one country alone, China, aspires to be the world’s superpower and has the resources to do it. So what this administration has done for four years is to try and level the playing field economically with sanctions and through tariffs and identify where they’re stealing intellectual property and through prosecutions and calling out China for who they are on the world stage through Huawei. That needs to continue, and I’m hoping that, if the Biden administration takes office, that political arguments and politicizing intelligence can stop, and when the intelligence is so clear that China is increasingly the threat to American supremacy, that we rise to meet the challenge and they continue on the path that this administration has started.”
Russia is also a dangerous adversary, Ratliffe stated, thanks to their Soviet-era stockpile of nuclear weapons, but China is much more hostile and aggressive. Russia is “always going to be a threat, but the people that make the false equations about Russia — the top 10 economies in the world, the United States is No. 1, China is No. 2, and Russia isn’t on the list.”
Ratcliffe referred to China’s habit of stealing intellectual property as a policy of “rob, replicate, and replace.”
Michael O’Hanlon, a senior researcher with Brookings Institute, agreed with the assessment, telling CBN News, “It’s been well known for decades that China tries to copy the industries of other countries and then takes it to scale, makes it more efficient, and largely operates and builds itself up through the global economic ranks with that approach.”
China’s threat to the United States also exists in space as its rapidly growing space program has displayed hostile behavior. As Ratcliffe explained during a public meeting of the National Space Council, “America’s vital interests are increasingly at risk as China and Russia develop and field destructive weapons to threaten U.S. and allied space capabilities.”
Referring to his Wall Street Journal op-ed, declaring China as the greatest current threat, he said that “includes China’s actions in space, where China is pursuing weapons capable of destroying our satellites up to geosynchronous Earth orbit, where many of our critical space systems reside. China has also deployed a ground-based missile intended to target and destroy satellites in low Earth orbit.”
The Trump administration has taken strong action against China to level the playing field by imposing tariffs. In addition, the House of Representatives, following the Senate’s lead, passed a bill that could prevent Chinese companies from participating in the U.S. Stock Exchange. The bill would require foreign companies to let the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board oversee the auditing of their financial records.
China’s economy is second only to that of the U.S. Their policy of intellectual theft, lack of environmental regulations, and determination to overtake the U.S. make them a significant threat to the United States, both economically and militarily. China has been caught sending spies to the U.S., and as a recent investigation showed, professors with ties to the Chinese government had been placed in U.S. universities. And FBI Director Christopher Wray claims that the organization has over 2,000 active investigations that can be tied to the Chinese government. China is an aggressor and must be treated as a legitimate threat. Certainly, nations like Russia pose a threat as well, but times have changed. China is a nation on the rise and it has the ambition and the wherewithal to do real harm to the U.S. and its interests. American leaders need to unify and take this threat seriously if they are going to effectively stand up to it.