Former President Jimmy Carter said Sunday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump calls Sri Lankan prime minister following church bombings Ex-Trump lawyer: Mueller knew Trump had to call investigation a 'witch hunt' for 'political reasons' The biggest challenge from the Mueller Report depends on the vigilance of everyone MORE called him to discuss China.

According to Emma Hurt from NPR's Atlanta affiliate, Carter said while speaking at a church that Trump is "rightly" concerned that “China is getting ahead of us."

Carter, the longest-living president in American history, has urged the U.S. and Chinese governments to find areas of common concern and improve relations.

ADVERTISEMENT

The former president, who signed accords in 1979 normalizing relations with China, has warned that the current trade conflict could distract the two countries from potential for productive collaboration.

The White House confirmed the call on Monday.

The two men discussed Trump's views on trade with China and "numerous other topics," the White House said in a statement.

"The President has always liked President Carter and First Lady Rosalynn Carter, and extended his best wishes to them on behalf of the American people."

Trump has ratcheted up pressure on China over trade concerns including intellectual property theft and tariffs since being elected in 2016.

He has imposed tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports, which in turn led China to impose its own retaliatory tariffs on the U.S.

—Updated at 2:06 p.m.