Salem Radio Network News Tuesday, March 21, 2023

World

U.S. spy chiefs see China continuing to cooperate with Russia, despite Ukraine backlash

By Patricia Zengerle, Jonathan Landay and Michael Martina

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – China will maintain its cooperation with Russia to continue trying to challenge the United States despite international concerns about the invasion of Ukraine, U.S. intelligence agencies said on Wednesday.

“Despite global backlash over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, China will maintain its diplomatic, defense, economic, and technology cooperation with Russia to continue trying to challenge the United States, even as it will limit public support,” they said in a report released as the Senate Intelligence Committee held its annual hearing on worldwide threats to U.S. security.

The report largely focused on threats from China and Russia, assessing that China will continue using its military and other assets to intimate rivals in the South China Sea and that it will build on actions from 2022, which could include more Taiwan Strait crossings or missile overflights of Taiwan.

“Perhaps needless to say, the People’s Republic of China, which is increasingly challenging the United States, economically, technologically, politically and militarily, around the world remains our unparalleled priority,” said Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, the main intelligence adviser to President Joe Biden.

To fulfill Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s vision of making China a major power on the world stage, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) “is increasingly convinced that it can only do so at the expense of U.S. power and influence,” Haines said in her opening statement.

“The next few years are critical as strategic competition with China and Russia intensifies in particular how the world will evolve, and whether the rise of authoritarianism can be checked and reversed,” Haines added.

The report said Russia probably does not seek conflict with the United States and NATO, but the war in Ukraine carries “great risk” of that happening, and that there is “real potential” for Russia’s military failures in Ukraine to hurt Russian President Vladimir Putin’s domestic standing, raising the potential for escalation.

Haines described “a grinding, attritional war” in Ukraine and said U.S. intelligence does not foresee the Russian military recovering enough this year to make major territorial gains.

(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle, Jonathan Landay, Michael Martina; Editing by Doina Chiacu)

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