12/04/2020, 10.10
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Washington sees China as greatest threat since World War II

The head of US intelligence chief slams the Chinese regime as a danger to global democracy and the free world. Chinese accused of stealing industrial secrets from US companies. About 1,000 Chinese scientists fled the United States after an investigation into China’s intelligence activities was launched. Beijing: Washington distorting the facts.

Washington (AsiaNews / Agencies) - China is the greatest threat to the United States today, and the greatest to global democracy and the free world since the Second World War. The stark words were written by John Ratcliffe, director of National Intelligence, in an editorial published yesterday in the Wall Street Journal.

According to the head of the office that coordinates the various US intelligence agencies, Beijing “intends to dominate the US and the rest of the planet economically, militarily and technologically,” He denounces that large public initiatives (a veiled reference to the "new Silk Road") and big Chinese corporations are just a cover for the activities of the ruling Communist Party.

Ratcliffe says that Beijing is growing stronger by stealing trade secrets from the United States. The Chinese goal, he said, is to replace US companies in international markets.

The US intelligence chief cites the cases of espionage in which China is involved. The most striking case is that of Charles Lieber, a chemist at Harvard University accused of being on the Chinese government payroll to steal sensitive information. On December 2, a senior Justice Department official revealed that 1,000 Chinese scientists left the United States shortly after an investigation into Chinese espionage activities began.

Ratcliffe estimates that Beijing's industrial thefts cause 500 billion dollars in damage a year. He points out that Huawei plays an important role in this effort by the Chinese. According to the Trump administration, the tech giant - and other Chinese companies in the industry - is using its systems such as 5G networks to gather intelligence for its government. Huawei has long been under scrutiny by Washington. After the launch of “Clean Network”, the US campaign to boycott Chinese 5G, many countries previously interested in Huawei's products have decided to turn to other suppliers, especially European and Japanese tech companies.

US Chief of Defense, General Mark Milley echoed Ratcliffe’s concern in his calls for greater military use of robotics and artificial intelligence to respond to Beijing's efforts to "dominate" the United States. The Chinese embassy in the United States responded to the charges by claiming that the US government "distorts" facts to curb China’s rising prominence, since Washington is the real "empire of hacking and spying."

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