China not top priority for US spy agencies under new policy

US and China

US and China

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
American intelligence agencies have been directed by the US National Security Council (NSC) to downgrade intelligence collection on China. Under the directive, which was first proposed last October, Chinese intelligence targets will be coded “Priority 2” (Pri-2), from their current “Priority 1” (Pri-1) status. The Washington Times reports that the move is part of a wider Obama administration effort “to develop a more cooperative relationship with Beijing”. The latter recently requested a new bilateral relationship with Washington, free from “Cold War and power politics mentality”. But the NSC proposal was contested by CIA director Leon Panetta and director of national intelligence Dennis Blair. The two men reportedly had to be assured that, in the words of one US intelligence official, the downgrading of Chinese intelligence targets “wouldn’t mean, or change, a damn thing”, and that it would not alter the allocation of US intelligence funding and resources on China. But the move appears to have created a stir among seasoned and veteran intelligence officials, some of whom describe the downgrading as a “serious miscalculation in dealing with China”. DNI and CIA spokespersons have denied comment on the matter.

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American intelligence agencies have been directed by the US National Security Council (NSC) to downgrade intelligence collection on China. Under the directive, which was first proposed last October, Chinese intelligence targets will be coded “Priority 2” (Pri-2), from their current “Priority 1” (Pri-1) status.
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About intelNews
Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

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