China wants to replace the US as master of the world and represents the biggest threat to Washington by far, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe claimed, escalating the Trump administration rhetoric against Beijing.

The People’s Republic of China “poses the greatest threat to America today, and the greatest threat to democracy and freedom world-wide since World War II,” Ratcliffe wrote in an op-ed published on Thursday by the Wall Street Journal, arguing that the “challenge of our generation” is to resist “Beijing’s attempt to reshape and dominate the world.”

.@DNI_Ratcliffe outlines why China is a “once-in-a-generation challenge” and the greatest national security threat America faces in a @WSJ op-ed:

The former Texas congressman took over the ODNI in May, after being nominated by President Donald Trump and approved by the Senate. Accusing China of intending to dominate the world “economically, militarily and technologically,” Ratcliffe rolled out the claims about intellectual property theft and economic espionage, already made by FBI Director Chris Wray and Attorney General Bill Barr earlier this year.

This time, however, he put a price tag on China’s alleged property theft, telling CBS News’ Catherine Herridge in an interview that the US government has estimated its cost at “as much as $500 billion a year, or between $4,000 and $6,000 per US household.”

DNI John Ratcliffe tells @CBS_Herridge every U.S. household loses up to $6,000 a year from China’s economic espionage: “China is an economic threat and a technological threat. And that’s something that the United States hasn’t had to deal with before”

Ratcliffe was also more specific about China’s alleged attempts to influence US policymakers – first mentioned by Barr in July – writing that Beijing is targeting them “with six times the frequency of Russia and 12 times the frequency of Iran.”

He told Herridge he had briefed both the House and Senate intelligence committees about this, to great alarm.

DNI Ratcliffe tells @CBS_Herridge that China is using blackmail, bribery and covert influence to target members of Congress and make sure “only laws that are favorable to China are passed”

Perhaps the most sensationalist claim was that Beijing has “even conducted human testing on members of the People’s Liberation Army in hope of developing soldiers with biologically enhanced capabilities.”

There are no ethical boundaries to Beijing’s pursuit of power.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has an “aggressive plan to make China the world’s foremost military power,” and is stealing US military technology in pursuit of it, Ratcliffe said.

China aims to “reverse the spread of liberty around the world,” he argued, making a claim that Beijing “believes that a global order without it at the top is a historical aberration,” without elaborating. 

All of this means that the US intelligence apparatus must make China their “primary focus going forward,” Ratcliffe argued, instead of preserving the Cold War obsession with the Soviet Union and Russia or the recent focus on counter-terrorism.

Without specifically naming Ratcliffe, Beijing has responded to his accusations by saying the US is practicing “typical double standards.”

Its true purpose is to create excuses to justify high-tech blockage against #China, and this will eventually damage the interests of China, the #US and the whole world.

The true purpose of such accusations “is to create excuses to justify  high-tech blockage against China, and this will eventually damage the interests of China, the US and the whole world,” tweeted Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying.

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