China Vs Russia

Explainer

Russia or China: Who’s the greatest threat to America?

By Jimmie Johnson, Gwen Baumgardner

From Russia’s cyberattacks and election interference to China‘s economic buildup and expansion in the South China Sea, both countries pose pressing challenges to the global balance of power…but who is the greatest threat to America?

GWEN: FROM RUSSIAS RECENT ELECTION INTERFERENCE, CYBERATTACKS ON THE US, AND MILITARY BUILDUP ON ITS BORDERS…

JIMMIE: TO CHINAS SURGING ECONOMIC POWER, CYBER-ATTACKS, AND MILITARY THREATS IN THE SOUTH CHINA SEA.

GWEN: WHICH COUNTRY IS THE BIGGEST THREAT TO THE U-S? 

JIMMIE: LET US EXPLAIN.

GWEN: EARLIER THIS YEAR, THE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE PRESENTED CONGRESS WITH ITS ANNUAL THREAT ASSESSMENT. 

THE REPORT LAID OUT POINT BY POINT HOW RUSSIA 

JIMMIE: AND CHINA ARE AMERICAS TOP TWO INTERNATIONAL THREATS.

IF IT ISNT ALREADY OBVIOUS, I WILL BE REPRESENTING THE PEOPLES REPUBLIC OF CHINA — WHICH THE REPORT SAYS HAS BECOME A NEAR-PEER WITH THE UNITED STATES AND IS POISED TO BECOME THE NEXT SUPERPOWER.

GWEN: AND I WILL BE REPRESENTING THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION, WHICH THE REPORT SAYS WILL LIKELY CONTINUE ITS COLD WAR-STYLE CONFRONTATIONS WITH THE U.S.

JIMMIE: AND WE ARE BOTH GOING TO BE HELPED BY INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EXPERT JEFF SMITH. 

GWEN: HE’S A RESEARCH FELLOW AT THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION AND KNOWS A LOT ABOUT THIS STUFF. 

JEFF SMITH, FELLOW AT THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION: They are both potential threats that both pose different sets of challenges and risks, and both require different policies to mitigate those risks.

JIMMIE: FIRST, MILITARY THREATS. LET’S START WITH CHINA’S EFFORTS TO CLAIM LARGE PARTS OF THE SOUTH CHINA SEA.

THOSE WATERS HAVE INVALUABLE TRADE ROUTES, FISHING RESOURCES AND ARE RICH IN MINERALS.

CHINA’S NAVAL PRESENCE THERE IS NOW AT A RECORD HIGH.

AND IN A GAME OF CHICKEN, IT’S USING ITS NAVY AND WARPLANES TO DIP INTO THE TERRITORIAL WATERS AND AIRSPACES OF PLACES LIKE TAIWAN, MALAYSIA, AND THE PHILIPPINES.

ALL OF WHICH, LIKE CHINA, CLAIM ACCESS TO THE SOUTH CHINA SEA.

THE U-S IS PUSHING BACK THOUGH, RECENTLY SENDING IN TWO U-S CARRIER GROUPS FOR MILITARY EXERCISES IN THE AREA TO REMIND CHINA, WE HAVE OUR ALLIES BACKS.

THEN THERE ARE CHINAS PLANS TO DOUBLE ITS NUCLEAR STOCKPILE IN THE NEXT DECADE, AND EXPERTS SAY THERE ISN’T MUCH THE U-S CAN DO ABOUT IT.

GWEN: AS FOR RUSSIA, THE U-S DOES HAVE MORE SAY REGARDING NUKES IN THE FORM OF A LIMITED NUCLEAR ARMS CONTROL AGREEMENT.

STILL, INTELLIGENCE REPORTS SAY RUSSIA REMAINS THE LARGEST AND MOST CAPABLE WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION RIVAL TO WASHINGTON.

JEFF SMITH: Some people describe them as the mafia, running a gas station armed with weapons, but by the size of their economy. They are a middle-ranking power now, and their population is declining. And as a geopolitical power, they are declining, but every time they argue with us and spar with the U.S. that elevates them again to the superpower table.

GWEN: AND NOW RUSSIA IS USING COVID VACCINES, ENERGY, AND ARMS SALES AS A TYPE OF FOREIGN POLICY TO GAIN INFLUENCE IN COUNTRIES LIKE VENEZUELA, CUBA, AND IRAN.

GWEN: NUMBER TWO, CYBER THREATS. 

IN RECENT MONTHS, RUSSIAN HACKERS HAVE HIT OIL, COMPUTER, AND BEEF PACKING COMPANIES.

THESE ATTACKS NOW HAVE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SHORING UP ITS CYBERSECURITY. 

THE WHITE HOUSE SAYS RUSSIA IS LIKELY TO BLAME FOR THE ATTACKS, AND “THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT HAS A ROLE TO PLAY IN STOPPING AND PREVENTING THESE ATTACKS,” AND RUSSIA’S CYBER SHENANIGANS HAVE EVEN SEEPED INTO OUR POLITICS. 

JEFF SMITH: They hate it when we lecture them about being a thuggish autocracy. Well, they love to be able to point the finger and say, Well, look at your democracy isn’t functioning, you know, look at how contentious your elections are, of course, because in part because they are stoking dissent and confrontation, and sowing mistrust.”

JIMMIE: ACCORDING TO OUR NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE, CHINA IS JUST AS BIG A THREAT IN THE AREA OF CYBER SPYING AND HACKING AS RUSSIA. 

BUT ITS CYBER EFFORTS ARE MORE FOCUSED ON STEALING U-S INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHT NOW.

INVESTIGATIONS INTO ECONOMIC ESPIONAGE BY CHINA ARE UP AN INCREDIBLE 1300 PERCENT IN THE LAST FEW YEARS, ACCORDING TO THE FBI. 

CHINA IS ALSO FOCUSING ON STOPPING FREE SPEECH INSIDE ITS BORDERS BY HACKING JOURNALISTS AND SOCIAL MEDIA COMPANIES LIKE FACEBOOK.

JIMMIE: NUMBER THREE, SPACE. 

CHINA ALSO WANTS TO DOMINATE THE SPACE GAME FOR PRESTIGE AND, TO MAKE GAINS ECONOMICALLY AND MILITARILY, ACCORDING TO OUR NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE.

AMERICA LANDED ITS ROVER ON MARS FIRST, BUT THE CHINESE WERE NOT FAR BEHIND. 

THE CHINESE WILL HAVE A FULLY OPERATIONAL SPACE STATION BUILT AS EARLY AS 2022, AND CHINA IS LOOKING TO BUILD A ROBOTIC RESEARCH STATION ON THE MOON AND THEN A MANNED-LUNAR BASE.

IT ALSO WILL CONTINUE ITS SPY SATELLITE EFFORTS AND COUNTER SPACE WEAPONS AIMED AT THE U-S AND OUR ALLIES.

GWEN: RUSSIA MEANWHILE REMAINS A KEY U-S COMPETITOR IN THE SPACE RACE. IT IS USING SPY SATELLITES TO GATHER INFORMATION FROM U-S SATELLITES AND MILITARY COMMUNICATIONS TO USE TO THEIR ADVANTAGE IN WARFARE ON THE GROUND, CREATING CLOSE CALLS BETWEEN SOLDIERS, FIGHTER JETS, AND WARSHIPS AROUND THE WORLD. 

IT ALSO DEVELOPING NEW COUNTER SPACE ATTACKS, INCLUDING DIRECTED LASER WEAPONS AND JAMMING TECHNOLOGY.

JIMMIE: NUMBERS FOUR AND FIVE, TRADE AND THE ECONOMY. 

CHINA IS EXPECTED TO OVERTAKE THE U.S. AND BE THE WORLDS LARGEST ECONOMY BY 2028.

IN 2019, IT WAS AMERICAS THIRD-LARGEST TRADING PARTNER, EXCHANGING $558.1 BILLION IN TOTAL GOODS WITH THE BULK OF IT, MORE THAN $45 BILLION EXPORTED BY CHINA TO AMERICA.

RIGHT NOW, CHINAS ECONOMY DEPENDS ON THE U-S, BUT CHINESE LEADER XI JINPING WANTS TO CHANGE THAT WITH HIS ONE BELT, ONE ROAD INITIATIVE, A MODERN-DAY SILK ROAD. 

ITS A TRADE ROUTE THAT ALLOWS CHINA TO EASILY EXPORT ITS GOODS TO COUNTRIES ACROSS THE GLOBE USING ROADS, RAIL, AND PORTS. 

THE STRATEGY, TO INCREASE CHINAS ECONOMIC INDEPENDENCE FROM THE U-S.

THE U.S. IS ALSO AT A DISADVANTAGE WITH CHINA BECAUSE IT OWNS ROUGHLY $1.7 TRILLION OF U.S. DEBT, SECOND ONLY TO JAPAN. 

GWEN: RUSSIA, ON THE OTHER HAND, IS WAY DOWN ON THE LADDER OF TRADING PARTNERS AT 26,

EXCHANGING ONLY 34.9 BILLION DOLLARS IN GOODS BETWEEN OUR COUNTRIES.

RUSSIA OWNS LESS THAN $4 MILLION IN U-S GOVERNMENT BONDS, DUMPING MUCH OF ITS U.S.-OWNED DEBT A FEW YEARS AGO.

THE MOVE SPARKING A GUESSING GAME AROUND THE COUNTRY’S MOTIVATIONS.  

GWEN: IT’S NOW TIME FOR YOU TO DECIDE. 

JIMMIE: WHO IS THE BIGGEST THREAT TO THE U-S? 

JIMMIE: IS IT CHINA? 

GWEN: OR RUSSIA?

JIMMIE: DON’T FORGET TO CHIME IN THE COMMENTS BELOW 

GWEN: AND DON’T FORGET TO RATE THIS STORY USING OUR BIAS METER. 

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From Russia’s cyberattacks and election interference to China‘s economic buildup and expansion in the South China Sea, both countries pose pressing challenges to the global balance of power…but who is the greatest threat to America?

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