China is a “near-peer competitor” continuing to challenge U.S., national intelligence report says

China is a “near-peer competitor” continuing to challenge U.S., national intelligence report says
AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File
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China’s development of space weapons continues apace as its military is preparing to use weapons that could take out U.S. satellites. 

The U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) has detailed how China is developing a range of different weapons to counter its competition, including disruptive lasers and anti-satellite (ASAT) missiles. 

In its Annual Threat Assessment report for 2021, the ODNI assessed security threats to the United States, which included highlights of China’s ASAT weapons, and other transnational issues including the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and the proliferation of organized crime and terrorist groups. The assessment also detailed national competitors like China and Russia. 

The ODNI classified China as a “primary strategic competitor” in its intelligence report and warned that it is reaching parity with the United States’ capabilities. 

“China increasingly is a near-peer competitor, challenging the United States in multiple arenas—especially economically, militarily, and technologically—and is pushing to change global norms,” reads the foreword of the report. 

“Beijing continues to train its military space elements and field new destructive and nondestructive ground- and space-based antisatellite (ASAT) weapons,” the intelligence report read. 

In regards to China’s broader strategic goals, the ODNI report says that the Chinese Communist Party is using “whole-of-government efforts to spread China’s influence, undercut that of the United States, drive wedges between Washington and its allies and partners, and foster new international norms that favor the authoritarian Chinese system.”

In addition to its strategic goals and ASAT capabilities, the ODNI warns that China’s nuclear ambitions are unsurpassed. 

“Beijing will continue the most rapid expansion and platform diversification of its nuclear arsenal in its history, intending to at least double the size of its nuclear stockpile during the next decade and to field a nuclear triad,” the report reads. “Beijing is not interested in arms control agreements that restrict its modernization plans and will not agree to substantive negotiations that lock in US or Russian nuclear advantages.”

The ODNI also goes over China’s growing cyber capabilities, stating that its pursuits and proliferation of technology increase the threats of cyberattacks against the United States. Additionally, Beijing continues to suppress U.S. web content which it sees as a threat “to its internal ideological control and the expansion of technology-driven authoritarianism around the world.”

It’s interesting to note that as the United States continues to push woke ideology throughout its institutions and government through the media, China actively resists and suppresses such content to prevent it from having an impact on Chinese society.

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