CIA Zeros In on Beijing by Creating China-Focused Mission Center
(Bloomberg) -- The Central Intelligence Agency is creating a dedicated China Mission Center to address challenges from the People’s Republic of China, the spy agency announced Thursday.
The new center “will further strengthen our collective work on the most important geopolitical threat we face in the 21st century,, an increasingly adversarial Chinese government,” CIA Director Bill Burns said in a statement. “Facing our toughest geopolitical test in a new era of great power rivalry, CIA will be at the forefront of this effort.”
Mission centers are stand-alone entities that utilize resources from across the CIA in line with agency priorities. Existing mission centers include those for counterintelligence, counterterrorism and the Near East. Burns said the mission center would help unify the agency’s existing work on China and that CIA would continue to focus on threats ranging from Russia to North Korea, Iran and terrorism.
The move reflects the priorities Burns laid out during his Senate confirmation hearing in February. The veteran diplomat called China’s “adversarial, predatory leadership” the biggest threat to the U.S., saying Beijing’s goal is to “replace the United States as the world’s most powerful and influential nation.”
Burns also announced the new position of Chief Technology Officer in the agency, as well as the creation of a Transnational and Technology Mission Center that will focus on maintaining America’s competitive edge in new and emerging technologies, as well as economic security, climate change and global health.
The CIA also said that it aims to significantly reduce the time it takes for applicants to join the agency, as well as creating a CIA Technology Fellows program that will bring experts for one or two years of service. The agency’s Deputy Director David Cohen will oversee implementation of the changes.
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