Heads of intelligence bodies warn of China’s threat to the US


March 12, 2023 | 12:56 p.m

China’s growing influence has raised concerns among House and Senate intelligence committees. EPA

The heads of the House and Senate intelligence committees on Sunday sounded the alarm over China’s growing influence, saying the communist country poses a “menacing threat, both militarily and through espionage.”

Republican Rep. Mike Turner, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, accused the Biden administration of fear of “provoking” Beijing during an interview on ABC News’ This Week – echoing Senator Mark Warner’s comments that were made previously in the show (D-Va.).

“I think what we’ve heard clearly from the intelligence community is the emergence of China as a threat, both militarily and through espionage, and as the senator just said, through technology, quantum technology computing, certainly the opportunity for them to blend in into our data systems via TikTok,” Turner said.

The Ohio congressman said the Biden administration is making the same mistake with China that it made with Russia in the early months of the invasion of Ukraine.

“They were far too timid in their approach to Russia – after being pushed by Congress before fully supporting Ukraine.

“And I think even in China, they’re afraid to provoke,” Turner said.

Rep. Mike Turner, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, spoke about the threat China poses to the United States during an interview on ABC News’ This Week show

He said China has built up its military, multiplied the number of nuclear weapons aimed at the US, and expanded its shipbuilding capabilities — and “they are absolutely emerging as a military threat to the United States.”

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“I think we have to react, and very strongly,” he said.

Warner, the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said on the show that “we face tremendous competition from China.”

“National security is no longer just about guns, ships and tanks. It’s about technology competition.

“It’s about who’s going to win the battle of artificial intelligence, quantum computing and synthetic biology,” he said

Warner, who is part of a bipartisan group of lawmakers who introduced legislation to give President Biden sweeping powers to regulate or even ban TikTok, said he “absolutely” believes the popular Chinese video platform should be banned .

“Literally 100 million Americans spend an average of 90 minutes a day on TikTok. This data resides in China no matter what TikTok says, and the truth is that TikTok can be used as a propaganda mechanism for the Chinese Communist Party.

“It’s a national security issue, I think,” he said.

Rep. Mike Turner accused the Biden administration of being “too coy” in its approach to China in an interview on Sunday. REUTERS

Turner said the administration’s handling of the TikTok threat is an example of the president’s fear of provoking China.

​“When the administration stepped in, there were policies in the Trump administration that they reversed, including a ban on TikTok. The Trump administration banned and demanded China’s divestment of TikTok in August 2020.

“The government reversed that in June 2021,” Turner said.​

Turner also said he found it “very disturbing” that Saudi Arabia would agree to resuming diplomatic ties with Iran in a China-brokered deal – and pointed to the deal as another Biden White House failure.​

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“At the same time that we were working with Saudi Arabia to try to strengthen their defenses against Iran, Iran was actually attacking Saudi Arabia. Instead of this government stepping up and partnering with our ally Saudi Arabia and working with them to defend against attacks from Iran, it has faced Saudi Arabia with a significant amount of criticism and has been slow to respond and respond to the military needs by – by Saudi Arabia,” Turner said.

“So it’s not unexpected that they’re looking elsewhere for support. It is certainly very unexpected and certainly very worrying and disappointing that they would turn to Iran,” he said

The three countries announced on Friday that Saudi Arabia and Iran had agreed to resume ties and reopen embassies after four days of secret talks in Beijing.​

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