WASHINGTON—President Biden warned that China is making advancements in transportation that give it an advantage over the U.S., as he made a pitch for Congress to pass an economic recovery package that includes infrastructure improvements.
“If we don’t get moving, they’re going to eat our lunch. They have major, major new initiatives on rail,” Mr. Biden said, adding that China is also making rapid advances on electric-vehicle technology.
The president spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday night in a call that Mr. Biden said lasted two hours. The two leaders, speaking for the first time since Mr. Biden took office, discussed a range of issues, including human rights, trade and security, according to the White House.
In May 2019 remarks, Mr. Biden appeared to dismiss the notion that China posed a major competitive threat to the U.S.
“China is going to eat our lunch? C’mon man,” he said in Iowa, asserting that the country was facing internal problems on a scale much larger than those in the U.S. Mr. Biden added, “They’re not bad folks, folks. But guess what? They’re not competition for us.”