3 Jarring Quotes on China From Top Intelligence Official

Avril Haines testifies before Senate Intelligence Committee
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 9, 2023 12:48 AM CST
3 Jarring Quotes on China From Top Intelligence Official
FILE - The American and Chinese flags wave at Genting Snow Park ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics, Feb. 2, 2022, in Zhangjiakou, China.   (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato, File)

The director of national intelligence testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee Tuesday, and what she said wasn't exactly comforting. In fact, Sen. Angus King said in response to the intelligence community's annual report on worldwide threats, "My recommendation is, don't read it just before you go to sleep." Here are three particularly disturbing quotes from DNI Avril Haines on China, from CBS News, Fox News, and Reuters:

  • "The [Chinese Communist Party] represents both the leading and most consequential threat to US national security and leadership globally, and its intelligence-specific ambitions and capabilities make it for us our most serious and consequential intelligence rival," Haines said.

  • She added that the CCP wants to solidify China as a major global superpower and "is increasingly convinced that it can only do so at the expense of US power and influence. And by using coordinated whole of government tools to demonstrate strength and compel neighbors to acquiesce to its preferences, including its land, sea, and air claims in the region and its assertions of sovereignty over Taiwan."
  • On the subject of China's relationship with Russia, Haines said, "It is continuing to deepen. There are some limitations that we would see on where they would go in that partnership. We don't see them becoming allies the way we are with allies in NATO, but nevertheless, we do see increasing (cooperation) across every sector."
The report itself also addresses countries including Iran (which has "accelerated the expansion of its nuclear program" and has conducted "research and development activities that would bring it closer to producing the fissile material for completing a nuclear device" if it wants to) and North Korea (Kim Jong Un "almost certainly views" nuclear weapons as a guaranteed way to hold on to power). Meanwhile, China's leader on Wednesday called for "more quickly elevating the armed forces to world-class standards," the AP reports. (Read more China stories.)

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