© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The Chinese flag is seen in Beijing, China
By Jonathan Landay and Mark Hosenball
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – China’s push for global power is the primary threat to US national security, while Russia’s efforts to undermine American influence and assert itself as a The key factor also poses a challenge, a US intelligence report released on Tuesday said.
The 2021 Annual Threat Assessment takes the views of US spy agencies on foreign policy issues faced by US President Joe Biden in his first year in power, complicated by the coronavirus pandemic. and global climate change.
While China and Russia are seen as the top challenges, Iran and North Korea will also check US national security, the report said.
The report, sent to Congress, will be the subject of meetings of the Senate and House intelligence committees on Wednesday and Thursday. Biden’s Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines and CIA Director William Burns will testify publicly for the first time since confirmed.
The ruling Communist Party of China will promote “the entire government’s efforts to spread Chinese influence, reduce American influence, promote relations between Washington and its allies,” the report said. partners “and promote adoption of their dictatorship system.
At the same time, China’s leaders will “seek tactical opportunities” to reduce tensions with the United States when it is in line with their interests, the report said.
It says China possesses minimal, substantial cyber-attack capabilities that could cause a local, temporary disruption to critical US infrastructure.
The report said Russia seeks to undermine US influence, sow disagreement between Western countries and within Western alliances, and builds its ability to “shape complete events. demand as a major player, “the report added that the country would also” remain a leading cyber threat. “
Agencies’ assessments of Iran’s nuclear program and intentions are contradictory. They said they continued to believe that Iran “does not currently carry out major nuclear weapons development activities that we consider necessary to manufacture a nuclear device.”
But they said that after President Donald Trump pulled out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal with world powers, Tehran “resumed some nuclear operations” that violated the agreement.
The report said Iran would “continue to pose a threat to US and allied interests” in the Middle East, aiming to undermine US influence.
They said North Korea “would pose a growing threat to the United States, South Korea and Japan” as it upgraded its conventional military capabilities. Pyongyang’s interest in developing weapons of mass destruction will remain a major concern, the report said.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un “remains strongly committed to the country’s nuclear weapons, which is actively engaged in ballistic missile research and development” and remains interested in weapons development. chemistry and biology, the report said.
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