Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe: “China is National Security Threat No. 1”

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WASHINGTON, DC- John Ratcliffe, Director of National Intelligence, warned in an op-ed recently that China poses the greatest threat to the United States today, and the greatest threat to democracy and freedom across the world since World War II, he wrote in the Wall Street Journal.

Ratcliffe, who oversees the national intelligence agencies and who is responsible for the President’s Daily Brief which outlines threats facing our country.

He notes that the intelligence is clear, he says. China’s intent is to dominate not only the U.S., but the rest of the world economically, militarily and technologically. He noted that much of what China reveals publicly, as well as information put forth by prominent companies only serves to hide the activities of the Chinese Communist Party.

Ratcliffe refers to the Chinese plan as one of “rob, replicate, and replace.” He explained that China robs U.S. companies of intellectual property, then replicates the technology and takes the place of U.S. firms in the global marketplace.

He cited the example of a company called Sinovel, which in 2018 was found by a grand jury of stealing trade secrets from American Superconductor, a company which provides solutions to improve performance of the power grid while lowering the cost of wind power. Sinovel is a wind-turbine manufacturer.

As a result of that theft, the company lost over $1 billion in shareholder value, as well as 700 jobs. Sinovel today engages in the sale of wind turbines through technology obtained by theft, not through ingenuity and hard work, Ratcliffe said.

Ratcliffe also noted that the FBI routinely arrests Chinese nationals engaged in stealing research and development secrets.

He highlighted the arrest earlier this year of a Harvard Chemistry professor, actually the head of the department who was allegedly getting paid $50,000 a month as part of a scheme to attract top scientists and then reward them for stealing secrets.

That professor has pleaded not guilty to making false statements to federal authorities.

The editorial also noted that three scientists were booted last year from MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston “over concerns about China’s theft of cancer research.” Ratcliffe claims the government estimates that China’s theft of intellectual property costs the U.S. as much as $500 billion a year, or an average of between $4,000 to $6,000 per U.S. household.

That’s not all. Chinese President Xi Jinping has an aggressive plan to turn the Chinese military into the foremost such force in the world. As such, China has been stealing sensitive U.S. defense technology.

More concerning, China is also engaged in a program of genetic engineering, where they have conducted testing on members of the People’s Liberation Army with the intention of developing biologically enhanced soldiers. As a communist nation, ethics, Ratcliffe said, are not a concern.

Ratcliffe noted China’s development of “world class capabilities in emerging technologies. He said that Chinese intelligence uses access to tech firms such as Huawei in order to engage in malicious activities, which includes but is not limited to the introduction of vulnerabilities to software and equipment.

China’s efforts to dominate 5G telecommunications will, Ratcliffe says, increase the opportunity for Beijing to collect intelligence, disrupt communications, and threaten user privacy on a global basis.

Ratcliffe said he has warned U.S. allies that if they use such Chinese-owned technology, he will be forced to limit our country’s ability to share vital intelligence with them.

He also warned that China is already engaged in suppressing U.S. web content which threatens the Communist Party’s “ideological control,” while developing “offensive cyber capabilities against the U.S. homeland.

He noted that only this year, China engaged in “a massive influence campaign that included targeting several dozen members of Congress and congressional aides.”

Ratcliffe explained the following scenario:

A Chinese-owned manufacturing facility in the U.S. employs several thousand Americans. One day, the plant’s union leader is approached by a representative of the Chinese firm. The businessman explains that the local congresswoman is taking a hard-line position on legislation that runs counter to Beijing’s interests—even though it has nothing to do with the industry the company is involved in—and says the union leader must urge her to shift positions or the plant and all its jobs will soon be gone.

The union leader contacts his congresswoman and indicates that his members won’t support her re-election without a change in position. He tells himself he’s protecting his members, but in that moment, he’s doing China’s bidding, and the congresswoman is being influenced by China, whether she realizes it or not.

Ratcliffe noted that the above isn’t merely a scenario, but that intelligence shows that China has regularly engaged in just this type of influence scenario in the U.S.

“I briefed the House and Senate Intelligence committees that China is targeting the members of Congress with six times the frequency of Russia and 12 times the frequency of Iran,” Ratcliffe said.

With this in mind, Ratcliffe said he has shifted resources inside the intelligence budget, currently around $85 billion, to focus on China. He says this is important “to ensure U.S. intelligence has the resources it needs to give policy makers unvarnished insights into China’s intentions and activities.”

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Ratcliffe said that the focus of intelligence agencies must change from the Cold War focus on the Soviet Union and Russia through the counterterrorism focus of the turn of this century.

He said that it needs to be clear that China should be the primary focus of the United States’ national security efforts going forward. Under a theoretical Biden administration, that would seem to be wishful thinking, since Biden gives the appearance of being owned by Beijing.

Ratcliffe then drew a contrast between the ideology of China and that of the United States, which he said are “wholly incompatible.”

He noted that China’s leaders “seek to subordinate the rights of the individual to the will of the Communist Party. They exert government control over companies and subvert the privacy and freedom of their citizens with an authoritarian surveillance state.”

Ratcliffe continued: “We shouldn’t assume that Beijing’s efforts to drag the world back into the dark will fail just because the forces of good have triumphed before in modern times. China believes that a global order without it at the top is a historical aberration. It aims to change that and reverse the spread of liberty around the world.”

Ratcliffe warned that China is prepared for a period of “open-ended” confrontation with the United States and said that our government must be prepared. He urged leaders to work across party lines and overcome partisan divides in order to understand the threat currently faced, then speak openly about it and take action to address it.

“This is our once-in-a-generation challenge. Americans have always risen to the moment, from defeating the scourge of fascism to bringing down the Iron Curtain. This generation will be judged by its response to China’s effort to reshape the world in its own image and replace America as the dominant superpower. The intelligence is clear. Our response must be as well.”

Mr. Ratcliffe might be onto something. According to the New York Post, a Chinese spy has been identified as having had sexual relations with at least two midwestern mayors, and also worked in fundraising efforts for at least two Democratic members of the House of Representatives.

The Post, citing a report in Axios said Christine Fang, who entered the US through California on a student visa in 2011 had worked as a fundraiser for Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) and helped place at least one intern in the office of Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), he of the obsession over the Russia hoax. She also raised funds for Swalwell’s 2014 re-election campaign and had interacted with him a number of times over several years, Axios said.

Federal investigators notified Swalwell’s office about their concerns over Fang in 2015, at which time Swalwell allegedly cut off all ties with her.

“Rep. Swalwell, long ago, provided information about this person—whom he met more than eight years ago, and whom he hasn’t seen in nearly six years—to the FBI,” said Swalwell’s office in a statement to Axios.

“To protect information that might be classified, he will not participate in your story.”

The pure irony of all of this is that Swalwell has repeatedly, without basis, called President Trump an “agent of Putin.” 

All of this follows an explosive video shown on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Fox News Tuesday, in which a Chinese Communist Party expert told how China had “people at the top of America’s core inner circle.” The video, which was censored in China made it onto the internet in the United States, the New York Post said. 

 

The lecture was given by Di Dongsheng, vice dean of the School of International Relations at Renmin University in late November. The video also referenced Joe Biden’s son Hunter and his business dealings in China. 

The video made clear that Beijing had experienced an advantage in working with the United States prior to the election of President Trump. 

“We know that the Trump administration is in a trade war with us, wo why can’t we fix the Trump administration? Why did China and the US used to be able to settle all kinds of issues between 1992 and 2016?” Di asked, then answering the question himself. 

“I’m going to throw out something maybe a little bit explosive here. It’s just because we have people at the top. We have our old friends who are at the top of America’s core inner circle of power and influence,’ Di said. 

He continued that “for the past 30 years, 40 years, we have been utilizing the core power of the United States.” 

He also sounded an optimistic tone about a potential Biden administration. 

“During the US-China trade war, [Wall Street] tried to help, and I know that my friends on the US side told me that they tried to help, but they couldn’t do much. But now we’re seeing Biden was elected, the traditional elite, the political elite, the establishment, they’re very close to Wall Street so you see that, right?” Di asked the audience. 

He went on and suggested that Hunter Biden had received help from the Chinese in his business efforts, a story which has been buried by the mainstream media. 

“Trump has been saying that Biden’s son has some sort of global foundation. Have you noticed that? Who helped [Hunter] build the foundations? Got it? There are a lot of deals inside all these,” Di finished. 

Ratcliffe reacted to the video while appearing on Carlson’s show. 

“There are a lot of people who, for economic reasons, don’t want China to be our greatest threat. There are a lot of people who, for political reasons, don’t want China to be our greatest threat in America but the intelligence doesn’t lie. China is our greatest threat and it’s not even close,” Ratcliffe told Carlson. 

“No other country has the capability of essentially taking away the American dream, and a specific plan to do so, and the intelligence is clear. 

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