The spy chief of outgoing US President Donald Trump has labelled China the biggest threat to democracy and freedom since World War II, as Chinese state media warned some damage to Sino-US ties was “beyond repair”.
Writing in the Wall Street Journal on Friday, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said that China was bent on global domination.
“The intelligence is clear: Beijing intends to dominate the US and the rest of the planet economically, militarily and technologically,” he warned.
In a potentially incendiary allegation, Ratcliffe also said China’s economic espionage approach was threefold: “Rob, Replicate and Replace”.
The Chinese embassy in the US said the spy chief’s article was “fact-distorting” and showed “an entrenched Cold War mindset”. It also claimed the US government and companies were involved in cyber-theft.
Ratcliffe’s comments came as Chinese state media questioned the state of relations between the two countries, which have sunk to their lowest point in decades over issues such as trade, human rights, Hong Kong and COVID-19.
The government-backed newspaper China Daily said in an editorial it viewed Washington’s decision this week to limit visitor visas for Chinese Communist Party members and their families and a ban on Xinjiang cotton imports as “worrisome signs”.