The United States is expected to face a “complex” security environment and will need to work on two “critical” strategic challenges – emerging powers, such as China, seeking dominance in the global order – and challenges such as climate change – that could “intersect”. “. and bolster their national security implications, the US intelligence community assessed.
This was announced by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Wednesday Annual Threat Assessment 2023, which warned of threats against the US from China, Russia, North Korea and Iran. It also warned of global challenges such as climate change and evolving technologies that could have the potential to “disrupt” traditional business and society while creating “unprecedented vulnerabilities”.
“These two strategic challenges will intersect and interact in unpredictable ways, leading to mutually reinforcing effects that can test our ability to respond, but also provide new opportunities to forge collective action with allies and partners, including non-state actors,” the statement said. states report.
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As for China, the US intelligence community said the Chinese Communist Party will continue its efforts to make China the “preeminent power in East Asia and a major power on the world stage.”
Officials said Chinese President Xi Jinping, in his third term, will try to pressure Taiwan for unification and will try to “undermine US influence” by driving “wedges between Washington and its partners.”
At the same time, China’s leaders are likely to look for ways to ease tensions with Washington when they believe it is in their best interests to do so.
The intelligence community warned that Beijing is “increasingly” combining its growing military power with its economic, technological and diplomatic clout to “consolidate CCP rule, establish what it perceives as its sovereign territory and regional superiority, and global influence after to strive”.
With regard to Taiwan, the intelligence community warned that the People’s Republic of China is using “coordinated government tools” to assert sovereignty over Taiwan. Officials warned that China can build on its actions from 2022, and will include more centerline crossings of the Taiwan Strait or missiles over Taiwan.
Officials also warned that if China were to succeed in controlling Taiwan, it would have “broad consequences, including disruption to global semiconductor chip supply chains as Taiwan dominates advanced chip production.”
As for the Chinese military, the intelligence community said Beijing is “accelerating” the development of key capabilities it believes the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) needs to “face the United States in a large-scale, ongoing conflict.” The PLA’s efforts are designed to “deter U.S. intervention in a future cross-strait crisis,” officials said.
Officials also warned that Beijing is strengthening its domestic defense production capabilities for weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and advanced conventional weapons. The intelligence community also warned that China is building hundreds of new ICBM silos.
“Beijing is concerned that bilateral tensions, nuclear modernization in the US and the PLA’s advancing conventional capabilities have increased the likelihood of a US first strike,” the report said. “Beijing’s increased confidence in its nuclear deterrent is likely to strengthen its resolve and intensify conventional conflict.”
Meanwhile, the intelligence community judged that China will remain the “biggest threat” to US technological competitiveness.
“China is at the center of global supply chains across a range of technology sectors, including semiconductors, critical minerals, batteries, solar panels and pharmaceuticals,” the report states. “China’s dominance in these markets could pose a significant risk to the US and Western manufacturing and consumer sectors if China’s government were able to leverage its dominance for political or economic gain.”
Regarding China’s malicious influence operations, the US intelligence community explained that the CCP uses a “sophisticated array of covert, overt, legal, and illicit means to try to mitigate US criticism, mold the views of US centers of power about China, and influence policymakers at all levels of government.”
And with regard to cyber and technology, the US intelligence community assesses that China poses the “broadest, most active, and persistent cyber-espionage threat to the US government and private sector networks.”
“China’s cyber activities and industry exports of related technologies increase the threat of aggressive cyber operations against the US homeland, suppressing the free flow of information in cyberspace – such as US web content – that Beijing sees as a threat to the CCP’s grip on power. , and the global expansion of technology-driven authoritarianism,” the report states.
Officials warn that China is “capable of launching cyberattacks that could disrupt critical infrastructure services in the United States, including against oil and gas pipelines and rail systems.”
“China is a world leader in using surveillance and censorship to track its population and suppress dissent,” the report says. it perceives as threats — to counter positions it considers critical of the CCP’s narratives, policies, and actions.”
Officials also warned that China is rapidly expanding and improving its artificial intelligence and big data analytics capabilities, which could extend beyond domestic use.
The U.S. intelligence community is shifting to Russia, warning that Moscow will continue to “remain a formidable and less predictable challenge to the United States in key areas over the next decade, but will still face a range of constraints.”
“Russia probably doesn’t want a direct military conflict with US and NATO forces, but there is a possibility that will happen,” the intelligence community said. “Russian leaders have so far avoided taking actions that would extend the conflict in Ukraine beyond Ukraine’s borders, but the risk of escalation remains significant.”
Officials believe Russia will continue to use military, security, malicious influence, cyber and intelligence tools to “undermine the interests of the United States and its allies.”
This is an evolving story. Check back later for updates.
Brooke Singman is a digital political reporter for Fox News. You can reach her at [email protected] or @BrookeSingman on Twitter.