Fmr. Top CIA Analyst: Chinese 'Believe Obama Is Fundamentally Weak and Disinterested'

Tyler McNally
By Tyler McNally | July 8, 2014 | 10:48 AM EDT

Chinese officials believe that Pres. Obama is "fundamentally weak and disinterested" regarding Chinese aggression, says Christopher Johnson, a former top CIA analyst and current senior advisor to the Center For Strategic & International Studies on China Studies.

"They believe Obama is fundamentally weak and disinterested," Johnson says, warning "We need a lot more weight on the economic side, because that's what keeps your relationship from tipping into a Cold War relationship."

"The Philippines, Vietnam, Japan, Malaysia, Brunei, Taiwan and India all face illegal maritime or territorial claims by China, Forbes reports, citing China's interest in taking over the natural resources of these countries:

"The South China Sea holds oil reserves of 28 to 213 billion barrels of oil, the upper estimate of which would make the sea the third-largest oil depository after Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. The South China Sea also holds 190 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, or 3% of proven global reserves."

Johnson says that the officials believe that the United States is a "paper tiger" for its lack of action in Syria and Crimea after the statements put forth by the Obama Administration.

The Chinese will increase their military spending by 12.2%, or $14 billion, in 2014. In total, the Chinese say that they will spend around $130 billion on the military, but the Pentagon says that they'll actually end up spending $145 billion.

Recently announced, the Chinese say that they have launched a new cyber intelligence center that, "is designed to become an authoritative research resource for Internet intelligence, build a highly-efficient cyberspace dynamically-tracking research system, provide high-end services for hot and major issues, and explore approaches of intelligence analysis as well as identification and appraisal with cyberspace characteristics."

The U.S charged five Chinese officers for "hacking into American nuclear, metal and solar companies to steal trade secrets, ratcheting up tensions between the two world powers over cyber espionage."

The Wall Street Journal reports that even though the United States spends nearly $500 billion on defense spending, "some defense experts predict Beijing could close the [defense spending] gap by around 2030 if current economic trends continue."