CIA director admits facing ‘adversary with greater influence’
Speaking at the Georgia Institute of Technology on April 14 in his first public address as head of the CIA, Burns argued that “an increasingly ambitious China and a Russian hardliners” forced the CIA to “reconsider itself to compete successfully in this new age”.
Mr. Burns continued: “President Xi Jinping’s China is our greatest challenge, the most profound test the CIA has ever faced. As an intelligence agency, we have never now have to deal with a more influential opponent.”
Mr. Burns said that China implicitly “supports” Russia in the war with Ukraine. In addition, the head of intelligence also warned that this military operation could pose a “serious threat”, indicating that President Vladimir Putin’s side is ready to trigger a nuclear attack.
“None of us can downplay the threat posed by the use of tactical nuclear weapons or low-yield nuclear weapons,” he stressed.
However, Burns also noted that currently, US intelligence agencies have not found enough factual evidence of nuclear military deployments or dispositions from Russia.
Since taking office, US President Joe Biden has repeatedly called China Washington’s top rival, continuing a series of confrontational policies implemented during the Trump administration.
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