June 25, 2018

Former U.S. Diplomat Warns China Is Emulating Russian Political Interference

By Victoria Nuland

A former senior U.S. official from the Obama administration is warning that Russian efforts to influence U.S. politics have been so successful that other U.S. adversaries like China are beginning to emulate them.

Victoria Nuland told the Senate intelligence committee on Wednesday, "Other countries and malign actors are now adapting and improving on Russia's methodology, notably including China which now runs disinformation campaigns and influence operations in Taiwan, Australia and other neighboring countries."

Nuland had a front-row seat to the Russian effort to interfere with the 2016 presidential election, serving as assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs from 2013 until the end of the Obama administration.

She spent more than three decades in the U.S. foreign service, acting as the U.S. Ambassador to NATO during the George W. Bush administration and a spokesperson for the State Department under Hillary Clinton. Nuland was also a top adviser to former Vice President Dick Cheney.

Michael Daniel, cybersecurity coordinator at the National Security Council during the Obama administration including the time period of the 2016 campaign, joined Nuland before the Senate panel.

"Our adversaries are also going to get better at integrating their cyber-capabilities with other aspects of their national power. The Russians are already quite far along with that but the Chinese and others are not far behind," Daniel said. "The Russians and other actors, including China, Iran, North Korea, criminal organizations, terrorist organizations, hacktivists, all of them are discovering the cyberspace is a great place to try to advance their agenda. We are seeing a proliferation of capabilities across the globe."


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