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The Big Take

China Is Evading U.S. Spies — and the White House Is Worried

Under Xi Jinping, China has become an even harder target for America’s spying operation.


Photographer: Nicolas Asfouri/AFP/Getty Images

A lack of top-tier intelligence on Chinese President Xi Jinping’s inner circle is frustrating senior Biden administration officials struggling to get ahead of Beijing’s next steps, according to current and former officials who have reviewed the most sensitive U.S. intelligence reports. 

Those officials, who asked not to be identified discussing sensitive issues, say China is becoming a harder target, more opaque, just as the demand for insights into Xi’s decision-making is soaring and tensions with the U.S. are heating up over issues from Taiwan to high technology.