According to Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, China poses a “bigger, more existential threat” than Russia’s election meddling and social media misinformation activities.
Grassley (R-Iowa) claimed the media hysteria over Russia neglects “China’s aspirations to supplant the United States as the world’s premier superpower in all sectors of life” at a Judiciary hearing on Chinese espionage activities today.
His comments are made as the Trump administration prepares to make a significant effort this week to punish China for its intellectual property theft and as tensions between Washington and Beijing over allegations against a senior Huawei executive rise.
Republicans, however, have also worked to minimize the impact of Russia’s 2016 election involvement campaign by portraying China as a negative influence on the international arena, including President Donald Trump.
Others also supported the Judiciary chairman’s strong warnings against China, including the panel’s top Democrat, Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who referred to China’s intellectual property theft as the “most critical economic and national security threat” confronting the United States.
Administration representatives also criticized China for its nefarious online actions, which, according to many analysts, have gotten worse over the past three years. The Department of Homeland Security’s senior cybersecurity official, Chris Krebs, referred to China’s hacking as “one of the most serious strategic concerns for our country.”
“The most serious counterintelligence threat facing our country today,” according to Bill Priestap, assistant director of the FBI’s counterintelligence section, is China.
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