Xi Jinping and other Chinese politicians and delegates listen to the national anthem duirng the closing of the 19th Communist Party Congress in 2017. Photo: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

The House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday released a report finding that the U.S. intelligence community has failed to adapt to the growing threat from China, arguing that it will struggle to compete on the global stage for decades to come if it does not implement major changes.

The big picture: The 200-page report, based on thousands of analytic assessments and hundreds of hours of interviews with intelligence officers, determined that the intelligence community's focus on counterterrorism after 9/11 allowed China "to transform itself into a nation potentially capable of supplanting the United States as the leading power in the world."

Key findings:

  • The Western consensus that China would choose to liberalize as its economy developed was "deeply misplaced," the report concludes, with the belief that democratic systems were "globally inevitable" causing policymakers to be blind to the Chinese Communist Party's "overriding objective of retaining and growing its power."
  • The committee expects China's use of "digital authoritarianism" to surveil and indoctrinate its citizens to continue to be exported abroad — "potentially degrading longstanding international norms concerning the rights of the individual, and the very idea of liberal and free societies."
  • The CCP's efforts to suppress information and "warp the record" of its own actions in the early days of the COVID-19 outbreak provide important insights for understanding Beijing's "vast propaganda apparatus," and should have "profound effects on how the United States should track and evaluate events occurring within China."
  • China's aggressive military expansion and dreams of becoming a "science and technology world superpower" could create "entirely new domains of conflict," extending the battlefield to "our political discourse, mobile devices, and the very infrastructure that modern digital communication and communities rely upon."

What they're saying: "The stakes are enormous. We must do everything possible to accurately predict and characterize Beijing’s intent, or we will continue to struggle to understand how and why the leadership of the CCP makes decisions, and fail to respond effectively," House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said in a statement.

Read an unclassified summary of the report.

Go deeper: Subscribe to the weekly Axios China newsletter

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Oct 20, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Sizing up China's 2060 plan

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

China's vow to reach carbon neutrality by 2060 is starting to produce some helpful analyses of how the world's largest greenhouse gas emitter might actually get there.

Why it matters: The plan seems to be achievable, in theory, but the numbers around the needed expansion of carbon-free power, industrial fuels and vehicles are pretty wild.

Updated 49 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Ex-FDA chief: Pence campaigning after COVID exposure puts others at risk — Mark Meadows: "We are not going to control the pandemic"
  2. Health: 13 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week — U.S. reports over 80,000 new cases for second consecutive day.
  3. World: Australian city Melbourne to exit one of world's longest lockdowns — In photos: Coronavirus restrictions grow across Europe
  4. Media: Fox News president and several hosts advised to quarantine after possible COVID-19 exposure
  5. Nonprofit: Rockefeller Foundation commits $1 billion for COVID-19 recovery
Updated 54 mins ago - World

In photos: Coronavirus restrictions grow across Europe

A skeleton is placed at a restaurant table in Rome to protest Italy's restrictions that'll see gyms, movie theaters and pools close and bars and restaurants required to shut by 6 p.m. until at least Nov. 24. Photo: Antonio Masiello/Getty Images

Restrictions are returning across much of Europe as the continent faces a second coronavirus wave.

The big picture: Spain and France each surpassed 1 million cases last week, and both countries have implemented further restrictions on citizens. Italian officials announced strict new measures, effective Monday, to combat another cases spike. From Denmark to Romania, take a look at what steps countries have been taking, in photos.