US spy chiefs see China-Russia ‘love affair’ continuing
WASHINGTON, March 8 (Reuters) – China will deepen its cooperation with Russia in an effort to challenge the United States despite international condemnation of its invasion of Ukraine, top US intelligence agencies said on Wednesday.
“Despite the global backlash over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, China will continue its diplomatic, defense, economic and technological cooperation with Russia to continue efforts to challenge the United States, even though this will limit public support,” they said. in a threat assessment issued. as the Senate Intelligence Committee held its annual hearing on worldwide threats to US security.
The report focused mainly on threats from China and Russia, estimating that China will continue to intimidate rivals in the South China Sea and that it will build on actions from 2022, which could include more crossings in the Taiwan Strait or Taiwan missile flights.
“It probably goes without saying that the People’s Republic of China, which is increasingly challenging the United States economically, technologically, politically and militarily, around the world remains our unparalleled priority,” said Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines. , the chief intelligence adviser to President Joe Biden.
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To fulfill Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s vision of making China a great power, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) “is increasingly convinced that it can only do so at the expense of US power and influence,” Haines said. .
FILE PHOTO-Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Avril Haines speaks during a visit by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (not pictured) to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence in McLean, Virginia, US, July 18, 2022. Saul Loeb/ Pool via REUTERS
However, she said US intelligence estimates that Beijing believes it benefits from a stable relationship, despite Xi’s recent harsh criticism of the United States.
Xi blamed the West for China’s economic woes in a speech on Monday in which he accused the United States of leading an international effort to contain China.
During questioning, Sen. Angus King, an independent who caucuses with Democrats, asked Haines’ view of Beijing’s ties to Moscow. “Is a temporary marriage favorable or is it a long love affair?” he asked.
“It’s continuing to deepen,” Haines replied, adding that she would be reluctant to characterize Beijing-Moscow ties as a love affair. “There are some limitations that we would see where they would go in that partnership. We don’t see them becoming allies the way we are with allies in NATO, but still, we see growth (cooperation) in every sector.” she said.
The report said that Russia may not seek conflict with the United States and NATO, but that the war in Ukraine carries “great risk” of that and that there is real potential for Russia’s military failures in Ukraine to damage the domestic standing of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Putin. increasing the potential for escalation.
Haines described “a grueling and frustrating war” in Ukraine and said U.S. intelligence does not foresee the Russian military recovering enough this year to make major territorial gains.
Reporting by Patricia Zengerle, Jonathan Landay, Michael Martina and Doina Chiacu; Editing by Doina Chiacu and Chizu Nomiyama
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