Pentagon disputes Biden's assessment of China, says country is a 'strategic competitor'

A top Pentagon official on Friday disagreed with Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s claim on the campaign trail that China isn’t really a competitor of the United States.

Asked about the former vice president’ comments, Assistant Defense Secretary for Asia Randall Schriver told reporters, “I'll stick with the language in our national security strategy and our national defense strategy, which identifies China as a strategic competitor.”

Campaigning in Iowa on Wednesday, Biden pushed back against the idea of China as a global competitor to the U.S.


"China is going to eat our lunch? Come on, man!" Biden said.

He added, "They can't figure out how they're going to deal with the corruption that exists within the system. They're not bad folks. But guess what, they're not competition for us."

Reacting to those remarks, President Trump, in an interview with Fox News' Catherine Herridge on Thursday, said Biden was "naive" about China.

"For somebody to be so naive, and say China's not a problem -- if Biden actually said that, that's a very dumb statement," he said.

Fox News’ Gregg Re contributed to this report.