Out competing China will be key to America’s national security in the decades ahead, President Joe Biden’s pick to lead the CIA has told lawmakers, stressing that Beijing is the “biggest geopolitical test” that the US will face.
William Burns, 64, a former diplomat who served in Russia and the Middle East, shared the assessment with members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence during his confirmation hearing on Wednesday for the post of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director.
“Out competing China will be key to our national security in the decades ahead. That will require a long-term clear eyed bipartisan strategy underpinned by domestic renewal and solid intelligence,” Burns said.
“There will be areas in which it will be in our mutual self-interest to work with China from climate change to nonproliferation. And I am very mindful that (President) Xi Jinping’s China is not without problems and frailties of its own,” he said.
“The challenge posed by Xi Jinping’s China, by an adversarial China, it is hard for me to see a more significant threat or challenge for the United States as far out as I can see into the 21st century than that one.