US ‘reluctant to let go hegemony’ in intelligence assessment Report distorts facts to serve US geopolitical, strategic purposes

March 12, 2024 —

The US’ latest intelligence report is part of the country’s cognitive warfare against designated “competitors” and “rivals,” and exposes that Washington is anxious and reluctant to accept that US supremacy is waning, Chinese observers said on Tuesday.  

The 2024 edition of the annual threat assessment report of the US intelligence community was presented to Congress on Monday. Intelligence leaders warned lawmakers on Monday, US local time, that the country faces an “increasingly fragile world order,” strained by great power competition, transnational challenges and regional conflicts, Reuters reported.

Li Haidong, a professor at the China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times on Tuesday that when the assessment made the conclusion of an “increasingly fragile world order,” it mirrors the US’ own situation – that the US itself has become fragile and its leadership has been weakened, and therefore the international order has become fragile. It is a US-centric conclusion. 

Chinese analysts pointed out that this intelligence report is nothing to do with intelligence collecting, but all about politics. In other words, it serves the US’ geopolitical and strategic purposes with partial claims, exaggerations and distortions.   

Lü Xiang, a US studies expert and research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Tuesday that the function of US intelligence is two-fold: to collect intelligence from others and to spread disinformation. Such published intelligence, infused with distortions about China, Russia and some others, aims to fight disinformation warfare. 

Lü pointed out the internal contradiction of the report that China is developing and “threatening the US,” and at the same time China will ultimately fail. Such contradiction reflects the US’ chaotic policy and mentality in dealing with China. 

US President Joe Biden is running his campaign on TikTok, but the US is also pushing a ban on the social media giant unless Chinese company ByteDance divests it, another example of US’ hysteria. 

The Monday report claimed that “[China] may attempt to influence the US elections in 2024 at some level because of its desire to sideline critics of China and magnify US societal divisions,” hinting on TikTok. It accused China of targeting candidates from both parties on TikTok in the 2022 midterms.  

The report also accused China of providing economic and security assistance to Russia by supporting Russia’s defense industrial base. CIA chief William Burns told the Senate that if the US walks away from Ukraine, it will stoke the ambitions of China. 

Commenting on that, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at a regular press briefing on Tuesday that what the US cares about is not Ukraine, but to realize its own geopolitical and strategic goal via the Ukraine crisis. 

On the Gaza war, the intelligence community assessed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s “viability as a leader” to be “in jeopardy,” and that the threat of a terrorist attack within the US “has gone to a whole [other] level,” according to a hearing.

Admitting US’ mistakes is not an option, but the nuanced changes in rhetoric concerning Israel and Ukraine have exposed that the US’ biggest challenges stem from its own mishandling of international affairs, Lü said. 

In the introduction, the intelligence report stated that “An ambitious but anxious China, a confrontational Russia, some regional powers, such as Iran, and more capable non-state actors are challenging longstanding rules of the international system as well as US primacy within it.” 

Li analyzed that in an election year, the report is supposed to consolidate domestic consensus on Biden administration’s policies and send signals to US allies to follow the pace of Washington and enhance coordination to contain US “competitors and rivals” such as China, Russia and Iran. 

Therefore, the report is not providing a truthful and realistic assessment of the world and international affairs, but a bugle call to aggregate US resources, crack down on US-designated risks and to maintain US ambition in dominance and hegemony, Li noted.  

If the US gets jittery whenever it hears the word “China,” where is its confidence as a major country? If it only wants itself to prosper but denies other countries’ legitimate development, where is international fairness? Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi asked at a press conference on Thursday.

The challenge for the US comes from itself, not from China. If the US is obsessed with suppressing China, it will eventually harm itself, Wang noted. 

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