America is fighting a raging pandemic, high unemployment, and explosive social unrest, all at the same time. But none of these is the greatest threat to our economic future. So what is? A superpower bully that wants to rule the world.
FBI Director Christopher Wray said Tuesday that Chinese theft of America intellectual property is so vast it is one of the greatest transfers of wealth in world history.
In a surprisingly frank speech, Wray described an all-out assault on almost every sector of the American economy.
"We've now reached the point where the FBI is opening a new China-related counter-intelligence case about every 10 hours," Wray told an audience at the Hudson Institute in Washington.
"China is engaged in a whole-of-state effort to become the world's only superpower, by any means necessary," Wray said.
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The FBI Director said half of all counterintelligence investigations now involve China, and China has stolen the personal data of most American adults.
This comes as China seems to be trying to dominate an economically weak, post-COVID-19 world through increasingly aggressive behavior. Twenty Indian soldiers were killed last month in a surprise cross-border attack by the Chinese army. China is harassing its neighbors in the South China Sea, brazenly crushing democracy in Hong Kong and again threatening war with the United States.
Asia has what some are calling a new 'bully', and China's expansionist ambitions are bringing it into conflict with many of its neighbors.
China has ongoing border disputes with at least eight nations, largely because it has claimed most of the international waters in the South China Sea for itself.
It's even begun to demand land from Russia's far east.
Arkansas Republican Sen. Tom Cotton told Fox and Friends, "No country on China's periphery right now is safe from Chinese aggression. All those countries want a close relationship with the United States. We ought to have one."
Steven Mosher, author of the book, Bully of Asia: Why China's Dream is the New Threat to World Order, says, "China has now taken off the mask. It is now open about its ambitions and the world is rising up against it."
Mosher says China's aggressiveness "has accomplished in six months what it would have taken America 10 years to accomplish and that is to forge an anti-Chinese alliance out of the different nations of the Asia Pacific rim. The Philippines is backing away from China. Taiwan is beefing up it's military even more because they see that after what's happened to Hong Kong, they're next."
But regardless of its threats, Mosher says China does not want a shooting war with the United States.
"What it wants to do is it wants to use this gray area between war and peace to continue its cyberattacks, to continue its espionage in the United States and other countries, but it certainly would use force in the future if it thought it had achieved a position of dominance," he said.
But China's only real military ally is North Korea, and China's increasingly bad behavior on the world stage is isolating it even more.