China has conducted testing on its army in the hope of creating biologically enhanced soldiers, according to the top intelligence official in the US.
John Ratcliffe, who has served as Donald Trump’s director of national intelligence since May, made the claims in a newspaper editorial, where he warned that China “poses the greatest threat to America today”.
Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Ratcliffe said: “The intelligence is clear: Beijing intends to dominate the US and the rest of the planet economically, militarily and technologically. Many of China’s major public initiatives and prominent companies offer only a layer of camouflage to the activities of the Chinese Communist Party.”
Ratcliffe said China had gone to extraordinary lengths to achieve its goal.
“US intelligence shows that China has even conducted human testing on members of the People’s Liberation Army in hope of developing soldiers with biologically enhanced capabilities,” Ratcliffe wrote. “There are no ethical boundaries to Beijing’s pursuit of power.”
Ratcliffe, who previously spent five years as a congressman representing Texas, said he had “shifted resources” in the intelligence budget to focus on China.
Many analysts and officials within the government’s intelligence agency have been focused on Russia and counter-terrorism efforts, Ratcliffe said: “But today we must look with clear eyes at the facts in front of us, which make plain that China should be America’s primary national security focus going forward.”
Ratcliffe’s spell as director of national intelligence is due to end in about six weeks, when Joe Biden is sworn in as president. Biden has nominated Avril Haines, previously deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency, to the role.
The enhancement of regular humans engaged in law enforcement or military operations has captured the imagination of many film and TV directors over the years.
The film Universal Soldier, starring Dolph Lundgren and Jean-Claude Van Damme, tells the tale of soldiers who are genetically enhanced. The troops are capable of healing quickly and are stronger than normal men.
In Robocop, Peter Weller portrays a US police officer who is killed by criminals, but whose brain and body are used by scientists to create a cyborg policeman, equipped with super strength.