Trump's intelligence chief warns China is the greatest threat to US since WWII


Outgoing us administration of president. Donald trump has thus far extended few of the traditional courtesies to the incoming administration of president elect joe biden. There has been no two of the white house no sporting photo op in the rose. Garden and little of the handover briefings from one group of officials to the next however director of national intelligence. John ratcliffe whether trying to help or hinder has passed along. His top worth to the next president in a wall street journal op-ed he has warned. President elect biden that china poses the greatest threat to america today and to worldwide democracy since world war two on joined with more on this point. Isabel hilton ceo at china dialogue. Isabel is the director of national intelligence entirely wrong here. We never entirely wrong but they do manage to you. Make a really terrible case turn radcliffe. I would remind you is director of national intelligence by skin of his teeth. When he was first nominated there was such a sort of howl of protest is lack of qualifications and the fact that he had falsified his own resume that that that trump at one point had to withdraw nomination before trying again. So you know as a kind of bond with the distinguished record nuanced analysis. I would you know maybe take it with a pinch of salt. That said clearly that the you know that china is a major challenge to democratic values of the united states. is meant to defend this. After a couple of problems with this framing one. It is clearly designed to To constrain at the incoming administration that is trying to take very different approach to foreign policy and the outgoing administration is trying to narrow the ground so saying that china is the greatest threat to freedom. Well you know okay It is true that china has indulged in ip theft. Absolutely true surprise just as the united states by the way did against the uk in the twentieth century. is it that may be ongoing espionage. Certainly and china certainly has nationalist ambitions. It certainly trying to bend the global rules to serve its own interest that is what big powers do including the united states. So the problem is is not the diagnosis. If you like. It's the reverend is that the trump administration has offered over the last four years which have simply made it easier for china to advance. Its case so the i think dangers here. One is the exaggeration of china's powers. And that's something we saw with the soviet union towards the end of the cold war. That if you have security agencies whose prosperity depends on building a threat they will big up a threat and so right to the moment when the soviet union collapsed we were hearing from. Us intelligence and security agencies that the world was about to be overwhelmed by soviet communism. And there's a bit of the same syndrome going on here but the second problem is the complete ineptitude of the trump administration encountering the chinese efforts to do that you have to build alliances not destroy them. And you have to make sure that your own offer has credibility. Most people prefer living a well-functioning democracy with personal freedoms trump has not been the best advert for that. At least for the trump's the united states is not the finest moment for democracy. And so you know yes. Of course there is a challenge here to challenge values challenge a political system but the way to country is with the integrity of our own political systems including that of the united states red cliff talks of china operating an influence campaign inside the united states. And on the one hand. That's a somewhat fatuous statement because everybody operates influence campaign inside the united states and indeed in pretty much every other country but is there anything especially sinister or dangerous about what china is doing. Ratcliffe also talks of them targeting members of congress. Well again no surprise. China has has done this an onion eternal lays it all out if you look at anything to do with the united front work department. Which is that bit of the party which has always existed which is intended to manage relations with non party elements. It used to be largely working within china building relationships or or not with religious authorities or with business. People are not in the communist party. Now that china's going global so has the united front work department and it has teamed up with a with the entity in the party that used to manage overseas chinese affairs so and it has put an enormous amount of money into this since the beijing olympics which was regarded as a pr disaster for china in so many ways Would've been the results. Well according to the pew survey in the last month china's reputation has never been lower so yes. China is putting great efforts into influence building and so far. They've been a terrible flop now. There is an element of this which is elite capture. Which again was going pretty. Well i think certainly in the uk for example in an example of elite capture would be the approach of the cameron government to china which you know proclamations of the golden decade. And so on. That's her you know very much again. If you look at elite attitude to china largely because of china's overreach there has been a big backlash everywhere from australia to the united states to europe. You hear the same message. so yes. they're making an effort but is it working. No it's not just one final thought and it's it's a concern that ratcliff doesn't raise for obvious reasons but is there any kind of danger of between now and january twentieth china just thinking there's nobody watching the shop if we're ever going to try and pull something big when never gonna get another chance like this. Well of course the big worry. I mean you might say. Hong kong was that the big warriors taiwan. And there's been a lot of jostling as you know in taiwan. I guess another option is the is the india china border again. We've seen quite a lot of live action there this year. My personal views. That taiwan is a step too far think china has a really a realistic understanding of what it would take not only to take taiwan but then to make that occupation work. And this you know. There are plenty of warnings about how difficult that is. And is this the moment to risk so much in pursuit of that. Of course the regime wants to recapture taiwa are how reunite or however they care to phrase it. But i think we've pretty much got twenty forty nine before that becomes acute in their many other Things that many other things that can be done to make taiwan life difficult short of a military assault isabel hilton front. You

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