Former NATO supreme commander: China could supplant US as world leader by 2020

Retired U.S. Marine Corps Gen. Jim Jones says China – not Russia – is the most concerning threat to the United States.

Jones, a former NATO European supreme commander, said China hasn’t been exactly shy about its ambitions to surpass the U.S. on the world stage.

“China is a much longer-term problem. I think China has the stated goal of trying to replace the United States…by 2020, 2040,” Jones told Hill.TV’s Krystal Ball and Buck Sexton on Monday. 

“They’re doing this in a very quiet way – sometimes not so quiet, but there’s no mistaking what their long-term ambition is and we’re going to have to deal with that,”  Jones continued.

Meanwhile, Jones downplayed Russia’s looming influence.

“I look at Russia and [President] Vladimir Putin in terms of their capabilities as being disruptive, but I don’t think we’re facing any kind of World War III,” Jones told Hill.TV.

FBI Director Christopher Wray echoed Jones's remarks on China last week. 

While speaking at the Aspen Security Forum, Wray described China as "the broadest, most challenging, most significant threat we face as a country."

Wray said China’s espionage efforts are much more pervasive, pointing to economic-espionage investigations in all 50 states that include “everything from corn seeds in Iowa to wind turbines in Massachusetts.”

— Tess Bonn