Former vice president and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden expressed skepticism that China is a competitive threat to the United States during an Iowa event Wednesday.
"China is going to eat our lunch? Come on, man," Biden reportedly said. "They're not bad folks, folks. But guess what? They're not competition for us."
The comments were first reported by the Washington Examiner's Joe Gabriel Simonson and the Des Moines Register's Stephen Gruber-Miller.
"'[C]hina is going to eat our lunch? come on man' biden says before saying that the chinese 'isn't in competition for us'," Simonson tweeted.
"china is going to eat our lunch? come on man" biden says before saying that the chinese "isn't in competition for us"
— Joe Gabriel Simonson (@SaysSimonson) May 1, 2019
"Biden is skeptical of the threat of competition from China. 'China is going to eat our lunch? Come on, man.' 'They're not bad folks, folks. But guess what? They're not competition for us'," Gruber-Miller tweeted.
Biden is skeptical of the threat of competition from China.
"China is going to eat our lunch? Come on, man."
"They're not bad folks, folks. But guess what? They're not competition for us." #iacaucus
— Stephen Gruber-Miller (@sgrubermiller) May 1, 2019
This contrasts sharply with the Trump administration's stance on China. As Biden indicated, Trump has gone after China for their trade practices, but the administration has also been tough on Chinese propaganda.
A paper published by the White House Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy last June highlighted the threat China poses America and the global economy:
The People’s Republic of China (China) has experienced rapid economic growth to become the world’s second largest economy while modernizing its industrial base and moving up the global value chain. However, much of this growth has been achieved in significant part through aggressive acts, policies, and practices that fall outside of global norms and rules (collectively, "economic aggression"). Given the size of China’s economy and the extent of its market-distorting policies, China’s economic aggression now threatens not only the U.S. economy but also the global economy as a whole.
The paper concludes "China’s acts, policies, and practices of economic aggression now targeting the technologies and IP of the world threaten not only the U.S. economy but also the global innovation system as a whole."
Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal reported Chinese spies are stepping up efforts to recruit U.S. intelligence officers to access government secrets.
"Senior U.S. law enforcement and intelligence officials have escalated their warnings characterizing Chinese espionage as the single most significant long-term strategic threat, encompassing both spycraft intended to steal government secrets and the sustained heist of intellectual property and research from the corporate and academic worlds," the report notes.