The Central Intelligence Agency said Thursday it has created a new “China Mission Center” to focus solely on the national security risks posed by the Chinese government, calling it the most important threat the US faces.
The new group was formed to provide a whole-agency response and address the global challenges posed by “key rival” China, according to the CIA.
“CMC will further strengthen our collective work on the most important geopolitical threat we face in the 21st century, an increasingly adversarial Chinese government,” CIA Director William J. Burns said.
Burns emphasized the threats against the US were from the Chinese government and not its people.
He added the CIA would continue to focus on other threats, including an “aggressive Russia, a provocative North Korea and a hostile Iran, as well as combating terrorism.”
The China Mission Center is part of an agency restructure that will see mission centers on Iran and North Korea be folded into existing groups that cover each country.
The Iran- and North Korea-specific missions were created during the Trump administration.
The CIA also announced plans to ramp up recruiting efforts for Chinese speakers, and will designate a chief technology officer for the first time to help with new and emerging technologies.
The agency is also planning to significantly reduce the time it takes to process CIA recruits.
“Throughout our history, CIA has stepped up to meet whatever challenges come our way … And now facing our toughest geopolitical test in a new era of great power rivalry, CIA will be at the forefront of this effort,” Burns said.
“There’s no doubt we have the talent for the job. And with the right approach, and the right structure in place, I know we’ll help ensure American leadership and American success on the global stage for decades to come.”
President Biden and his administration have publicly accused China of failing to cooperate with COVID-19 investigations and aiding cyberattacks against US infrastructure.
With Post wires