China is targeting Joe Biden’s team amid fresh trade measures, described by intelligence chief William Evanina as a campaign “on steroids.”
Evanina, director of the U.S. National Counterintelligence and Security Center, made the comments Wednesday during an appearance on a panel at The Aspen Institute’s virtual Cyber Summit.
He also said China had attempted to meddle in the United States' efforts to develop a coronavirus vaccine and the 2020 presidential election.
The agency has “seen an uptick, which was planned, and we predicted, that China would now revector their influence campaigns to the new administration,” he said.
“And when I say that — that malign foreign influence, that diplomatic influence-plus or on steroids — we’re starting to see that now play across the country to not only the folks starting in the new administration, but those who are around those folks in the new administration,” he told the panel.
"So that's one area we're going to be very keen on making sure the new administration understands that influence, what it looks like, what it tastes like, what it feels like when you see it."
Biden in an interview with The New York Times published Wednesday said he would not act immediately to remove the 25% tariff imposed by the Trump administration or pull an agreement China made with the U.S. to purchase hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of products from the United States as part of their “phase one” trade deal.
“I’m not going to make any immediate moves, and the same applies to the tariffs,” he said. “I’m not going to prejudice my options.”
“The best China strategy, I think, is one which gets every one of our — or at least what used to be our — allies on the same page,” he told columnist Thomas Friedman. “It’s going to be a major priority for me in the opening weeks of my presidency to try to get us back on the same page with our allies.”
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