October 7 (WNN) — The central intelligence agency on Thursday announced the creation of two new mission centers as part of a strategy to address the threats of the 21st century – including climate change, threats to US operatives and an increasingly “adversarial” China.
CIA Director William Burns detailed the mission centers in a statement that called the government in Beijing “the most significant geopolitical threat” facing the United States.
One of the centers will focus specifically on the Chinese threat and the other, called the Transnational and Technology Mission Center, will investigate and discover technologies that can help fight global warming and better use threat intelligence. Find out and protect CIA workers around the world.
Acknowledging China as a “major rival” to the United States, the announcement said both mission centers stemmed from a series of strategic evaluations that the CIA began last spring.
In remarks to CIA personnel on Wednesday, Burns said the China Center will “strengthen our collective work” in monitoring China’s growing influence. With its large economy and global reach, Beijing is a unique and growing threat, he said.
Burns said he would hold weekly meetings with heads of centers and other CIA leaders as part of the new venture.
At his confirmation hearing in February, Burns identified China as a top global threat and the new mission centers reflect a more aggressive posture by the US government under President Joe Biden.
“Today’s landscape is increasingly complex and competitive,” he said during the Senate hearing. “This is a world where familiar threats remain—from terrorism and nuclear proliferation, to an aggressive Russia, a provoking North Korea, and a hostile Iran.”
“But it is also a world of new challenges, one in which climate change and global health insecurities are taking a toll on the American people; in which cyber threats pose a major threat to our society; and in which a hostile, violent Chinese leadership is one of our greatest challenges.” It’s a geopolitical test.”
The agency said mission centers created in 2017 to focus on Iran and Korea will now be converted into organizations monitoring the Near East and East Asia.
US and Chinese officials announced on Wednesday that Biden will meet Chinese President Xi Jinping in their first official summit shortly before the end of the year. Officials said the leaders, however, would not meet in person but from afar.