President-elect Joe Biden’s pick to head the Office of the Director of National Intelligence declined to answer a yes-or-no question about whether the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is an adversary of the United States.
Avril Haines, who Biden intends to nominate as the director of national intelligence, told lawmakers on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence as part of her confirmation hearing on Tuesday that China is an adversary in some areas while a partner in others, like climate change.
She deferred to Biden’s definition of the communist regime as a “global competitor,” while adding that she will nonetheless work to counter Beijing’s illegal espionage.
“Is China, under the rule of the Chinese Communist Party an adversary of the United States?” Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) asked.
“China is adversarial and an adversary on some issues and in other issues we try to cooperate with them, whether in the context of climate change or other things,” Haines responded.
“And ultimately the frame that the president-elect has identified for thinking about this is a global competitor,” she added. “But I think that doesn’t, to your point, in any way mitigate the fact that when it comes to espionage or the variety of areas that I’ll be focused on if I’m confirmed as the director of national intelligence, they are an adversary and that we have to work on those issues, in particular, countering their illegal, unfair, aggressive actions in these spaces.” Read more…