US Intel. community 'gaining greater understanding of China's growing ambitions'

Dan Coats, US Director of National Intelligence, discussed China and other challenges facing US national security in an address on Sept. 4

File Photo: US Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats

File Photo: US Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats (By Associated Press)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – At the “Intelligence and National Security Summit” held in National Harbor, Maryland, on Sept. 4, U.S. Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Dan Coats gave a luncheon address where he outlined the major challenges facing the U.S. intelligence community.

Some of the major challenges addressed also directly involve the overt and covert polices of China. According to reports, Coats said that “We are gaining a greater appreciation and understanding of China’s growing ambitions outside its traditional arena of operation.”

VOA reports that Coats identified “cyberattacks” and potential interference with U.S. elections as the greatest national security threat currently facing the U.S. intelligence community.

Under the leadership of Xi Jinping, China is becoming more aggressive in its attempts to expand its influence and promote its own national interests across the globe. Coats reportedly said that China’s main ambition is to undermine the current international system in manner that results in maximum benefit for itself.

Coats mentioned the “Belt and Road Initiative” which on the surface promotes diplomatic and economic ties of Beijing across the world, but Coats says it is also a program intended to give Beijing a means of expanding its military force across the globe as well, according to Voice of America.

Coats also mentioned China’s island construction and militarization tactics in the South China Sea as means to establish dominance over one of the world’s most important areas for international trade.

In Coats keynote address, he broadly outlined the four major challenges facing the intelligence community as economics, crime, terrorism, and technology. A broad synopsis of Coats’ address is available at AFCEA.