The United States and China have one of the world’s most important and complex bilateral relationships. Since 1949, the countries have experienced periods of both tension and cooperation over issues such as trade, climate change and Taiwan. One of the most recent examples was earlier this year, when a Chinese-operated ‘spy balloon’ flew across the United States. U.S. officials claimed the balloon was spying on sensitive military sites, while China claimed the balloon was a civilian weather monitoring craft that had accidentally veered into U.S. air space. The Biden administration ordered the Air Force to shoot down the balloon only after the balloon reached the Atlantic Ocean off the southeast coast.
Not only is China a growing and dangerous threat, it remains the top challenge to U.S. national security interests according to the Pentagon. China continues to gain more capability to systematically challenge the United States in four key areas – Military, Economy, Technology, and Diplomacy.
The counterintelligence and economic espionage efforts emanating from the government of China and the Chinese Communist Party are a grave threat to the economic well-being and democratic values of the U.S. Confronting this threat is the FBI’s top counterintelligence priority.
The Chinese government is seeking to become the world’s greatest superpower through predatory lending and business practices, systematic theft of intellectual property, and brazen cyber intrusions, according to the FBI. U.S. officials are also concerned with China’s ‘deepening’ relationship with Russia and providing them assistance with their invasion of Ukraine. TikTok, which is owned by a Chinese company, also presents a clear threat to the U.S. This popular social media platform could be used by the Chinese to collect user data, control software or spread misinformation.
According to the latest Annual Threat Assessment from the Director of National Intelligence, China presents the broadest, most active, and persistent cyber espionage threat to the U.S. government and private-sector networks. China is capable of launching cyber attacks that could disrupt critical infrastructure services within the U.S., including against oil and gas pipelines and rail systems.
Officials in Germany have recently labeled China as a growing threat to global security. The Germans cite China’s aggressive claims of supremacy in Asia along with their use of economic strength to achieve political goals.
“The Chinese Communist Party has built a government based on manipulating global rules and standards on economics and trade, violating human rights, and coercing countries around the world through practices including the theft of intellectual property, predatory lending, and military overreach,” stated Rep. Jeff Keicher (R-Sycamore). “This is a legacy of subjugation, intimidation, and lack of respect for personal freedoms.”
“Not only is China a threat to our safety and economy, their track record with human rights is atrocious,” added Rep. Blaine Wilhour (R-Beecher City). “The leaders in Washington must stand up to China and not allow the global position of a Communist regime to continue to strengthen.”