On Tuesday, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines released an unclassified annual report of global threats to United States national security, including a warning of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) plans to use COVID-19, or CCP virus vaccine diplomacy, to increase its worldwide influence. Intelligence Community leaders were also involved in the report.
“In the coming year, the United States and its allies will face a diverse array of threats that are playing out amidst the global disruption resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and against the backdrop of great power competition, the disruptive effects of ecological degradation and a changing climate, an increasing number of empowered non-state actors, and rapidly evolving technology,” the report reads.
“Even when a vaccine is widely distributed globally, the economic and political aftershocks will be felt for years. . .China will try to increase its influence using ‘vaccine diplomacy,’ giving countries favoured access to the COVID-19 vaccines it is developing. . .The Chinese Communist Party will continue its whole-of-government efforts to spread China’s influence, undercut that of the United States, drive wedges between Washington and its allies and partners, and foster new international norms that favour the authoritarian Chinese system. . .Chinese leaders probably will, however, seek tactical opportunities to reduce tensions with Washington when such opportunities suit their interests,” the report adds.
The report states that other governments, including Russia, are also considering vaccine diplomacy tactics to bolster their geopolitical positions.
The document also addressed concerns of Chinese and Russian developments of dangerous technology and weapons of mass destruction. The US Intelligence Community expects Communist China will continue to fortify its military forces, including a rapid platform diversification and expansion of its nuclear arsenal. The report outlines the risk that Beijing may double its nuclear stockpile over the next decade while fielding a nuclear triad.
The US Intelligence Community’s concerns further extend to space security. China is allegedly attempting to overtake the US in space capabilities. The report cites a need to integrate counter-space operations into potential military campaigns to protect against possible attacks on US and allied satellites. Over 80 nations have launched space operations, with governments across 50 countries funding space projects. According to an accredited Fox News source, space operations are becoming increasingly important for national security, with opposition like China and Russia racing with the US to gain the highest ground in military space projects.
The Director for Chinese Strategy at the Hudson Institute, Michael Pillsbury, stated the Biden administration is well aware of the CCP’s aggressive plans and the danger of the situation.
Fox News. (April 14, 2021). China to use ‘vaccine diplomacy’ to increase influence, US intel community warns.