CIA launches new unit focusing on China

The US Central Intelligence Agency says it will create a new unit focusing on China.

CIA Director William Burns on Thursday announced the formation of the China Mission Center as part of strategic reviews he launched this past spring.

Burns said the center is aimed at addressing "the global challenge" posed by China. He said the new unit "will further strengthen our collective work on the most important geopolitical threat we face in the 21st century, an increasingly adversarial Chinese government."

Burns emphasized the threat is from the Chinese government, not its people.

The CIA has not revealed details of the new unit's mission.

The Washington Post quoted a senior US official as saying that, just as it did against the former Soviet Union, the CIA will use the new unit to deploy specialists and technicians in countries around the world to gather intelligence and also to recruit and train Chinese speakers.

President Joe Biden's administration sees China as its "most serious competitor."