National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC) Director William Evanina top a top U.S. think tank that U.S. intelligence officials have seen a sharp uptick by the Chinese Communist Party in an effort to influence Biden and his incoming administration. Evanina reportedly told the Aspen Institute think tank that China has put in motion a massive influence campaign “on steroids.”
The Daily Wire reports:
“I think the last few months, parallel to the elections, we’ve been dealing really heavy on the COVID-19 front and China’s efforts to thwart that, not only in the vaccine but also in the promulgation of a supply chain and the movement of a vaccine all the way to inoculation,” Evanina said.
“But we’ve also seen an uptick, which was planned and we predicted, that China would now revector their influence campaigns to the new administration. And when I say that, you know 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 that are in the new administration, but those who are around those folks in the new administration. 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.”
This is not the first time that Evanina warned about the impending threat from China. In August the NCSC Director released a statement discussing the greatest threats to the 2020 presidential election, one of which was China.
We assess that China prefers that President Trump – whom Beijing sees as unpredictable – does not win reelection. China has been expanding its influence efforts ahead of November 2020 to shape the policy environment in the United States, pressure political figures it views as opposed to China’s interests, and deflect and counter criticism of China. Although China will continue to weigh the risks and benefits of aggressive action, its public rhetoric over the past few months has grown increasingly critical of the current Administration’s COVID-19 response, closure of China’s Houston Consulate, and actions on other issues. For example, it has harshly criticized the Administration’s statements and actions on Hong Kong, TikTok, the legal status of the South China Sea, and China’s efforts to dominate the 5G market. Beijing recognizes that all of these efforts might affect the presidential race.
The concerning remarks from Evanina come after Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election, the preferred outcome for the Chinese. Multiple high-ranking U.S. military and intelligence officials have claimed that China poses the single greatest threat to the United States.