U.S. President Joe Biden's pick to head the CIA, William Burns, has named North Korea, China, Russia and Iran as security threats.
In opening remarks at his Senate confirmation hearing on Wednesday, the career State Department official called today’s landscape increasingly complicated and competitive with persisting familiar threats. Among the threats Burns listed were terrorism, nuclear proliferation, an aggressive Russia, provocative North Korea and a hostile Iran.
In particular, Burns said if he is confirmed, he will mainly focus on four areas - people, partnerships, China and technology - adding that outcompeting China would be a core national security priority in the coming years.
He described China as “a formidable authoritarian adversary” that is boosting its capabilities “to steal intellectual property, repress its own people, bully its neighbors, expand its global reach, and build influence in American society.”