The spy chief of outgoing US President Donald Trump has labelled China the biggest threat to democracy and freedom since World War II, as Chinese state media warned some damage to Sino-US ties was “beyond repair”. “The intelligence is clear: Beijing intends to dominate the US and the rest of the planet economically, militarily and technologically,” Al Jazeera quotes Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe as writing in the Wall Street Journal. In a potentially incendiary allegation, Ratcliffe also said China’s economic espionage approach was threefold: “Rob, Replicate and Replace” but the Chinese embassy in the US responded by saying that the spy chief’s article was “fact-distorting” and showed “an entrenched Cold War mindset”, adding that the US government and companies were themselves involved in cyber-theft.