In the view of William Burns, the designated head of the US State Intelligence Service, the CIA, China is placing the United States in “its greatest geopolitical test.” “The candidacy of China will be crucial to our national security in the coming decades,” Burns said at a hearing in the US Senate, which must confirm his assumption of the post.
A former diplomat who was the Deputy Secretary of State of the United States during the era of former US President Barack Obama.
Burns said that while it is in the United States’ interest to work with China on climate change and curbing the spread of nuclear weapons, there are more and more areas in which China under President Xi Jinping is a “formidable authoritarian opponent.” China is systematically enhancing its ability to steal intellectual property, oppress its people, intimidate its neighbors, increase its global influence, and gain influence in American society.
But China is by no means the only challenge to the United States. Burns explained and described, along with terrorism, aggressive Russia, “provocative North Korea” and hostile Iran. Additionally, threats did not come only from individual countries; There are “problems without a passport” like climate change, health risks or the technological revolution.
Burns said the widespread hacking attack on government institutions and corporations was “a tough wake-up call for all of us.” “The CIA will need to relentlessly hone its skills to understand how competitors are using electronic and other technological tools, to anticipate, discover and prevent their use, and to keep a head start in developing them themselves.”