US “Worldwide Threat Assessment” takes aim at China
1 February 2019
Amid a bipartisan escalation of US pressure on China, the US “intelligence community” published Tuesday its annual “Worldwide Threat Assessment,” ahead of testimony by US intelligence officials before the Senate Intelligence Committee that day.
While the media have largely focused on differences between the assessment provided in the document and the statements of the White House, in reality the threat assessment reflects a bipartisan escalation of US efforts to block the economic, military and technological development of Russia and China, with particular emphasis on China.
The publication of the document came just one day after the US Justice Department announced a series of trumped-up charges against the Chinese technology company Huawei, alleging that it conspired to evade US sanctions against Iran and stole technology from the US carrier T-Mobile.
Both the publication of the Worldwide Threat Assessment and the charges against Huawei set the tone for the White House’s trade negotiations with China, which reached an inconclusive outcome on Thursday.
In a development over last year’s document, this year’s threat assessment begins by warning of a growing alignment between Russia and China, declaring that the two countries “are more aligned than at any point since the mid-1950s, and the relationship is likely to strengthen in the coming year as some of their interests and threat perceptions converge, particularly regarding perceived US unilateralism and interventionism.”
The report adds, “At the same time, some US allies and partners are seeking greater independence from Washington in response to…