China Will Deepen Ties With Russia Despite Pressure, US Assesses

The 39-page report highlights everything from national threats to the dangers of cyber attacks, climate risks and organised crime.
St Basil's Cathedral near Red Square in Moscow, Russia.
St Basil's Cathedral near Red Square in Moscow, Russia.

China will keep up its defense and economic cooperation with Russia despite international condemnation of the Ukraine invasion and pressure from Western allies, the lead US intelligence agency said in its annual assessment of threats facing the nation.

“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,” the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said.

The report was released in conjunction with testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee Wednesday from Avril Haines, the director of national intelligence, and other agency chiefs. China has resisted US efforts to make it comply with western sanctions against Russia, deepening its alliance with Moscow. Biden administration officials say China is even considering whether to supply military assistance for the invasion.

The 39-page assessment, dated Feb. 6, highlights everything from national threats to the dangers of cyber attacks, climate risks and organized crime. But it makes clear that even as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine challenges the US, the primary threat is China, which “has the capability to directly attempt to alter the rules-based global order in every realm and across multiple regions.”

It cites China’s growing military capability, its buildout in space and of weapons of mass destruction, and its dominance in everything from global supply chains to critical minerals and from pharmaceuticals to solar panels.

The ODNI report also offered new warnings about Chinese and Russian space warfare capabilities intended to attack US satellites.

Counterspace operations “will be integral to potential PLA military campaigns,” according to the report, referring to China’s People’s Liberation Army. It said China is fielding both ground- and space-based anti-satellite weapons.

“China already has fielded ground-based counterspace capabilities including electronic warfare systems, directed energy weapons” and anti-satellite missiles “intended to disrupt, damage, and destroy target satellites,” it said.

Likewise, Russia continues to train its military space force and field new anti-satellite weapons “to disrupt and degrade U.S. and allied space capabilities.”

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