President Biden told U.S. troops that China believes it would “control America” within the next 15 years while addressing the changing environment of foreign threats to the country in a recent visit to Joint Base Langley Eustis in Hampton.

“We’re in a battle between democracies and autocracies,” Biden said on Friday, May 28, during Memorial Day remarks at the Virginia base. “The more complicated the world becomes, the more difficult it is for democracies to come together and reach consensus.

“I’ve spent more time with President Xi [Jinping] of China than any world leader has,” Biden said. “For 24 hours of private meetings, with just an interpreter, 17,000 miles traveling in China and here.” 

“He [President Xi] firmly believes that China, before the year 2035, is going to own America, because autocracies can make quick decisions,” Biden added.

The president didn’t go into detail on what he meant by “own America.” During his 23-minute speech, he made no other reference to China, as reported by New York Post.

After an emotional tribute to his late son Beau, who served in the Iraq War, the president discussed the final withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan.

“You all just showed up and did your job, and it helped make sure there hasn’t been another attack on the homeland from Afghanistan for the last 20 years,” he said. “And you never gave up until we delivered justice to Osama bin Laden.”

Biden claimed that “the greatest threat and likelihood of attack from al Qaeda or ISIS is not going to be from Afghanistan; it’s going to be from five other regions of the world that have significantly more presence of both al Qaeda and organizational structures, including ISIS.”

Biden also told troops that America is “unique” in the world because it is the only country founded on an “idea.”

“America is unique. From all nations in the world, we’re the only nation organized based on an idea,” Biden said in the address. “None of you get your rights from your government; you get your rights merely because you’re a child of God. The government is there to protect those God-given rights. No other government has been based on that notion. No one can defeat us except us.”

In closing, the president praised service members as “1% of the population” who are “defending 99% of the rest of us”.

“Thank you for your commitment to our country, because … you are the spine of America … And I can’t tell you how much it matters. I think you underestimate just the consequence of who you are and what you do. So, thank you,” Biden said.

According to Fox News, Congress is currently discussing legislation to improve U.S. competitiveness in the research and technology sectors to compete with China.

Earlier this week, Biden ordered the intelligence community to launch a 90-day examination of data to see if the coronavirus originated from the Wuhan Institute of Virology in central China.