According to the US Intelligence Community’s 2022 Annual Threat Assessment, Beijing will continue the largest-ever nuclear force expansion and arsenal diversification in its history.
Beijing is uninterested in agreements that limit its options, and it will not participate in negotiations that lock in US or Russian advantages. China is constructing a larger and more capable nuclear missile and bomber force that is more survivable, diverse, and alert than in the past, including nuclear missile systems designed to manage regional escalation and ensure an intercontinental strike capability in any scenario.
Beijing is accelerating the development of key capabilities that it believes the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) will require to confront the US in a large-scale, long-term conflict. The PLA Navy and Air Force are the most powerful in the region, and they continue to field cutting-edge platforms that improve China’s ability to establish air superiority and project power. According to the report, the PLA Rocket Force’s (PLARF) short, medium, and intermediate-range conventional systems can put US forces and bases in the region at risk.
“We assess that China presents the broadest, most active, and persistent cyber espionage threat to US Government and private sector networks”, the report said.
China’s cyber pursuits and export of related technologies heighten the threat of attacks on the US homeland, suppression of US web content deemed threatening to Beijing’s control, and the global spread of technology-driven authoritarianism.
China is almost certainly capable of launching cyber attacks on critical infrastructure services in the United States, such as oil and gas pipelines and rail systems.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) will continue its efforts to realise President Xi Jinping’s vision of China becoming the preeminent power in East Asia and a major power on the global stage. The CCP will work to press Taiwan for unification, undermine US influence, create schisms between Washington and its allies, and promote some norms that favour its authoritarian system.
Beijing sees increasingly competitive US-China relations as part of a historic geopolitical shift, and sees Washington’s diplomatic, economic, and military measures against Beijing as part of a larger US effort to prevent China’s rise and undermine CCP rule.
Beijing will continue to promote the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in order to increase China’s economic, political, and military presence in the world. In response to publicity and sustainability challenges, Beijing will modify its approach to BRI and diversify project selection in an effort to improve the initiative’s brand and minimise international criticism. According to the report, China will also promote new international norms for technology and human rights.