China not only seeks to dominate the United States militarily but threatens the very existence of the country, said the chiefs of the U.S. intelligence community and the military.
Director of National Intelligence (DNI) John Ratcliffe and Army Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at different fora both warned of the grave and existential threat China and its communist system of government poses to the United States and the rest of the world.
Ratcliffe said China wants to "dominate the U.S. and the rest of the planet economically, militarily and technologically" through a global economic espionage campaign he termed "rob, replicate and replace."
He said many of China's major public initiatives and prominent companies are really working for the Communist Party of China (CPC) by using various means such as outright theft.
"China robs U.S. companies of their intellectual property, replicates the technology, and then replaces the U.S. firms in the global marketplace," he said in an opinion piece published by The Wall Street Journal.
As a consequence, China "should be America's primary national security focus going forward."
The U.S. government estimates China's intellectual-property theft costs the U.S. more than $500 billion annually or between $4,000 and $6,000 per U.S. household. Ratcliffe said the FBI frequently arrests Chinese nationals for stealing research and development secrets.
He asserted China is regularly directing influence operations on U.S. soil and targets Congress members at a frequency far greater than either Russia or Iran.
"I briefed the House and Senate Intelligence committees that China is targeting members of Congress with six times the frequency of Russia and 12 times the frequency of Iran," wrote Ratcliffe.
"To address these threats and more, I have shifted resources inside the $85 billion annual intelligence budget to increase the focus on China. This shift must continue to ensure U.S. intelligence has the resources it needs to give policymakers unvarnished insights into China's intentions and activities."
He also assailed China for its non-stop theft of U.S. technologies to accomplish the accelerated modernization of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) ordered by communist party secretary general Xi Jinping. China expects the PLA to equal the U.S. Armed Forces by at least 2035.
"China should be America's primary national security focus going forward," Ratcliffe concluded.
The United States Armed Forces believes it needs additional resources to combat what it sees as China's unique and growing threat.
"The existential challenge is going to be China," said Gen. Milley in remarks made to the U.S. Naval Institute earlier on Thursday. He pushed the federal government for new military spending in excess of the current budgets that exceed $700 billion in part to counter the threat from China.
Gen. Milley said China, not Russia, is the key adversary targeted by the U.S. military in its future security planning.
"They are developing an exceptionally strong military that is going to be capable in space and cyber, on the sea, land and air," said Gen. Milley.
"They have a very deliberate plan and a vision of the future. It's very calibrated, and they know the interim objectives that they're trying to meet with their intent. They intend to essentially match the United States military capability and capacity by calling it the mid-2030-ish timeframe, 2035. And they would like to not only match but to exceed is to dominate us, to be able to beat us in armed conflict by the mid-century."