29 January 2014

Remarks as Delivered by Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper on the 2014 Worldwide Threat Assessment & Full Text of Report

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Statement for the Record

Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community
Provided to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence


Download DNI Clappers Remarks

From pp. 21-22 of the report:



Chinese leaders will try to focus primarily on domestic priorities during 2014 while leveraging China’s growing influence in the region. A new generation led by Xi Jinping is in place and its ambitious policy agenda is coming into focus: accelerate economic reforms, make governance more efficient and accountable, and tighten Communist Party discipline.

China will probably continue its increasingly proactive approach to maritime disputes, including a hardline stance toward Japan over the Senkaku Islands. More broadly, China’s growing confidence, new capabilities, and other perceived challenges to China’s interests or security will drive Beijing to pursue a more active foreign policy.

  • Growing regional competition in territorial disputes and competing nationalist fervor increase the risk of escalation and constrain regional cooperation. Sovereignty concerns and resurgent historical resentments will generate friction and occasional incidents between claimants in the East and South China Seas and slow or stall bilateral or multilateral efforts to resolve the disputes.

Beijing has highlighted its pursuit of a “new type of major power relations” with Washington, but China is simultaneously working at least indirectly to counterbalance US influence. Within East Asia, Beijing seeks to fuel doubts about the sustainability of the US “rebalance” and Washington’s willingness to support its allies and partners in the region.

China is pursuing a long-term comprehensive military modernization designed to enable its armed forces to achieve success on a 21st century battlefield. China’s military investments favor capabilities designed to strengthen its nuclear deterrent and strategic strike options, counter foreign military intervention in a regional crisis, and provide limited, albeit growing, capability for power projection. During 2013, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) introduced advanced weapons into its inventory and reached milestones in the development of key systems. China’s first domestically developed heavy transport plane, the Y-20, successfully conducted its initial test flight. Additionally, China has continued to develop multiple advanced ballistic and cruise missiles.

  • Developments in PLA capabilities support an expansion of operations to secure Chinese interests beyond territorial issues. For example, China is pursuing more effective logistical support arrangements with countries in the Indian Ocean region.
  • Elements from China’s army, navy, air force, and strategic missile forces from multiple military regions participated in Mission Action 2013 in September and October 2013. The exercise included two large-scale amphibious landings and coordinated long-range air force and naval air operations in a maritime environment.