Washington/Beijing – Former US intelligence chief John Ratcliffe has warned that the purchase of Chinese drones by the Biden administration poses a serious threat to US national security. The decision shows that President Biden and his administration are taking a lenient stance regarding China, Ratcliffe said. It has been exposed that the Secret Service, a part of the US administration and the main investigative agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), have purchased drones from a Chinese company.
Following the change of administration in the United States, new President Joe Biden signalled a mild policy against China. Accordingly, Biden had begun the process of reassessing several decisions taken against China. A few months ago, President Joe Biden suspended action against companies linked to the Chinese military. Some of the decisions taken by the Trump administration against China on trade, investment and technology were reversed. The purchase of drones seems to be part of the same process.
Ratcliffe criticised the Biden administration and said, ‘The companies supplying Chinese drones were found to be close to the ruling Chinese communist party. Therefore, in 2017, the US administration had decided not to buy Chinese drones. Against this background, the Biden administration’s purchase of Chinese drones in 2021 is foolish. The Chinese drones are a serious threat to the US national security.’
The former intelligence chief also pointed out that the technology of Chinese drones was not as good as that of US drones. ‘The Biden administration is trying to paint a picture that China is not an enemy, but a competitor. For this, a softer role is being adopted about China. Even though it is clear that China cannot be trusted in the wake of the Corona outbreak, decisions are being made that would be detrimental to the country’s security,’ Ratcliffe said.
The US Congress passed a bill banning Chinese drones in 2019. But there are a few exceptions and the Biden administration has reportedly taken advantage of those for buying Chinese drones. Key agencies in the Biden administration, including the White House, have declined to comment on the issue. Therefore, there are indications that these purchases will be at the centre of a bigger controversy.
In the last four years, the Trump administration of the United States launched a series of aggressive decisions against China. The Trump administration began to corner China by issuing a series of orders on several issues, including robbery in trade, espionage, dominance in technology, infiltration of educational institutions and investments. Upset by the move, China had criticised the US and also warned of strong retaliation.