Chinese Army (representative image). Photograph:( Reuters )
"The intelligence is clear: Beijing intends to dominate the US and the rest of the planet economically, militarily and technologically," Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said in an opinion article on the Wall Street Journal website.
The top US intelligence official has labelled China the biggest threat to democracy and freedom worldwide since World War Two, saying it was bent on global domination.
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In his essay, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe Thursday also said Chinese authorities had "conducted human testing" on members of the Chinese army "in hopes of developing soldiers with biologically enhanced capabilities."
"The intelligence is clear: Beijing intends to dominate the US and the rest of the planet economically, militarily and technologically," Ratcliffe said in an opinion article on the Wall Street Journal website.
Ratcliffe's Wall Street Journal essay was the latest broadside against China from President Donald Trump's 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.
He said, "China poses the greatest threat to America today, and the greatest threat to democracy and freedom world-wide since World War Two."
He said he had shifted resources within the $85 billion annual federal budget allocated to intelligence to increase the focus on China.
Ratcliffe, a former Republican congressman appointed by Trump to the top US spy job last spring, said China's economic espionage approach was threefold: "Rob, Replicate and Replace."
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 added.
Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Wednesday that US accusations of technology theft were "ludicrous."
Beijing has frequently called on US leaders to dial back their rhetoric on China, which it blames on fear of China's growing role in the world. Ratcliffe alluded to reports collected by US intelligence agencies that Chinese representatives have sought to interfere in US domestic politics.
He also charged that China had stolen US defense technology to fuel an aggressive military modernization plan launched by President Xi Jinping.
“The election is over. Now let’s all be honest about China,” he told Reuters after the article was published.
Among other issues, Washington and Beijing have clashed over China's handling of the coronavirus outbreak, its tightening grip on Hong Kong, its disputed claims in the South China Sea, trade and accusations of human rights crimes in Xinjiang.
China said on Thursday that politicians in the United States are fabricating news of detained Uighur Muslims being forced into labor in the Xinjiang region.
Ratcliffe, who served only briefly on the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee before Trump appointed him to his role, has been accused by Democrats and current and former intelligence officials of politicising intelligence.
On Thursday, the Trump administration restricted travel to the United States by members of China's ruling Communist Party and their families.
On Wednesday, the House passed a law to kick Chinese companies off US stock exchanges if they do not fully comply with the country's auditing rules.