CIA Director Mike Pompeo has branded China as one of the biggest threat to America's super power status in the world, than Russia or Iran.
Terming terrorism and North Korea as short-term threats to U.S. security interests, the CIA head described China as mid to long term threat due to its strong economy and its military capabilities to confront the United States.
"It's hard to pick between China, Russia and Iran to be honest with you. I guess if I had to pick one with a nose above the others, I'd probably pick China,"Russia Today quoted Pompeo as saying.
"They have a real economy that they have built, unlike Russia that lives and dies on how many barrels of oil they can pluck out of the ground. And Iran that is similarly very single sector derivative and not to the scale of China population-wise," he explained.
As China is asserting dominance in the East and South China Sea, a U.S. Navy warship has sailed close to a Chinese claimed island in the South China Sea, Pentagon officials say, marking the second such operation under Donald Trump's presidency.
United States pointed out that China cannot "unlawfully restrict the navigation rights, freedoms and lawful uses of the sea as all the states are entitled to exercise under international law."
Trump signaled he could use the US-China trading relationship as to pressure China to force North Korea to act, Trump said,"Somebody said, what cards you have? I said, very simple- trade. We are being absolutely devastated by bad trade deals. We have the worst of all trade deals is with China," Trump said.
"But the biggest strength we have these horrendous trade deals, like with China. That's our strength. But we're going to fix them. But in terms of North Korea, our strength is trade."
"We have to fix the trade. We have to fix the trade.But we have to fix the trade with China because it's very, very none-reciprocal," Trump added.