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China wants to avoid escalation with U.S. and favors stable relations, U.S. spy chief says

US intelligence chief Avril Haines told lawmakers on Wednesday that China wants to avoid escalating tensions with the US and believes it benefits from a more stable relationship with Washington, even as it faces global economic challenges. And wants to strengthen military power.

Despite recent sharp criticism of the US by Chinese President Xi Jinping, “we assess that Beijing still believes that it has the most to gain from preventing escalation of tensions and maintaining stability in its relations with the United States” is,” Director of National Intelligence Haines said at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing.

China is increasingly challenging the United States around the world economically, technologically, politically and militarily and “remains our unique priority,” Haines said.

Haines and other intelligence officials appeared at the hearing as part of the intelligence community’s annual assessment on the global threats facing the United States.

Xi’s speech at the Chinese Communist Party Congress this week, in which he accused Washington of trying to stall Beijing’s rise, likely reflects “the growing pessimism in Beijing about China’s relations with the United States”. Along with concerns about China’s domestic economic development trajectory and innovation challenges, Haines said.

Xi, Haines said, “wants to send a message to his own population and to regional actors that the US is responsible for any escalation of tensions.”

The Chinese Communist Party “represents both the foremost and most consequential threat to US national security and leadership globally,” Haines said, adding that Beijing was “our most serious and consequential intelligence adversary.”

US officials and China experts have expressed concern about the lack of regular high-level talks between Beijing and Washington, saying communication breakdowns increase the risk of unexpected confrontation or crisis.

The intelligence community’s latest report on global threats, released earlier Wednesday, said Chinese leaders will seek to divide the US and its allies but also reduce friction with the US by adapting to Beijing’s agenda .

“As Xi begins his third term as China’s leader, the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) is seeking to press Taiwan for unification, reduce US influence, drive a wedge between Washington and its partners, and so on. will work to promote norms that support its authoritarian system.” said the report. “At the same time, China’s leaders will look for opportunities to reduce tensions with Washington when they believe it best suits their interests.”

Senators from both parties said at the hearing that China is focused on gaining dominance in key technologies and will be shaped by the rivalry between Beijing and Washington, which was able to gain the upper hand in that technological contest.

“While the US focused on countering terrorism for two decades, China races to overtake the US in emerging and foundational technologies such as advanced wireless communications, semiconductors, quantum, synthetic biology, next-generation energy, artificial intelligence, and major Had been. Important minerals like upstream inputs,” said Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, the Democratic chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

On Tuesday, Beijing’s new foreign minister said the US and China are headed for an inevitable “confrontation and conflict” unless Washington changes course.

China has rejected Washington’s allegations that it is considering providing lethal aid to Russia and accused the United States of provoking a potential conflict by selling Taiwan fighter jets and other weapons.

Haines said there was “deeper cooperation” between China and Russia, but did not say whether Beijing had decided to supply arms and ammunition to Moscow.

Haines said China was “increasingly uneasy” about the non-lethal aid being provided by Russia and appeared to be avoiding a high-profile public role.

Asked by Sen. Angus King, I-Men, about China possibly arming Russia, Haines said, “It’s a very real concern” and “we’re going to be very, very careful about how much aid they’re providing.” Take a look and we’d be happy to talk.” More about it in closed session.”

Haines said that the Russian army was suffering from ammunition and personnel shortages and morale problems, and it was unlikely that Russia would be able to capture large areas this year. But Russian President Vladimir Putin appeared ready to continue the war, betting that his forces could win in the long run, she said.

“We do not expect the Russian military to recover enough to make major territorial gains this year, but Putin most likely finds that time works in his favor, and the war, including a possible pause Prolongation may be their best remaining path to ultimately securing Russia’s strategic interests in Ukraine, even if it takes years.

Haines also warned that the effects of climate change would increase risks to national security and “accelerate or trigger domestic or cross-border geopolitical flashpoints”.



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