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CIA: China is leading a "silent cold war" against the US



  Xi Jinping
Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks during a press conference with President Barack Obama (not pictured) in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

Reuters / Jason Lee

ASPEN, Colorado (AP) – China is leading a "silent cold war" against the United States, using all its resources to replace America as the world's leading power, a leading CIA expert for Asia said Friday ,

Beijing does not want to go to war, he said, but the current Communist government under President Xi Jinping is subtly working on several fronts to undermine the US in a different way than the more prominent activities hired by Russia.

"I would argue … that what they are doing against us is basically a Cold War – a Cold War, as we saw it during the Cold War (between the US and the Soviet Union), but By definition, a Cold War, "said Michael Collins, deputy director of the CIA Mission Center East Asia, at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado.

Growing tensions between the US and China go beyond the trade dispute that unfolds in a collective bargaining battle between the two nations.

There is concern over China's ubiquitous efforts to steal business secrets and details about high-tech research in the US. The Chinese military is expanding and modernizing, and the US and other nations have complained about the construction of military outposts on islands in the South China Sea.

"I would argue that it is the Crimea of ​​the East," said Collins, referring to Russia's hasty annexation of the Ukrainian Crimean peninsula, which was condemned throughout the West.

Chinese sailors stand guard at the port of Qingdao in Shandong province, China, April 22, 2009.

Guang Niu / Getty

Collins & # 39; Comments follow warnings of the growing influence of China issued by others speaking at the Security Conference this week. The alarm bells come at a time when Washington needs China's help in ending its nuclear emergency with North Korea. [Wednesday] FBI Director Christopher Wray said Wednesday that China is the biggest and most significant threat to America from a counterintelligence point of view. He said the FBI has industrial espionage investigations in all 50 states, which date back to China.

"The volume of it, the penetration of it, the meaning of which is something that, in my opinion, can not underestimate this country," said Wray.

Dan Coats, National Intelligence Director, also warned of growing Chinese aggression. In particular, the US would have to stand up against China's efforts to steal business secrets and academic research.

Susan Thornton, Deputy Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, said that raising public awareness of the activities of hundreds of thousands of Chinese students or groups at US universities could be a way to alleviate potential harm.


REUTERS / Jason Lee

"China is not just a footnote to what we have to do with Russia," said Thornton.

Secretary of State for Intelligence, Marcel Lettre, said China has the second largest defense budget in the world, the largest standing army of ground forces, the third largest air force and a fleet of 300 ships and more than 60 submarines.

"All this is being modernized and improved," said Lettre, who sat on a panel discussion with Collins and Thornton.

He said that China is also pursuing advances in cyber, artificial intelligence, technology and technology, counter-space, anti-satellite capabilities and hypersonic gliding weapons. Army Lieutenant Robert Ashley, head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, told a congressional committee earlier this year that China is developing long-range cruise missiles, some of which can reach supersonic speeds.

"The Pentagon has discovered that the Chinese have already been running a test program that has 20 times more tests than the US," said Lettre.

Franklin Miller, former senior director of defense policy and arms control in the National Security Council, said China's arms developments underscore the need for dialogue with Beijing.

"We must try to get involved," Miller said. "My expectations for successful engagement are medium-low, but that does not mean we should not try."


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