Pentagon chief Mark Esper said China is an increasing threat to world order, Daily Mail reported.
His remarks came at an international security conference in Munich, Germany.
Esper accused China of stealing western know-how, intimidating smaller neighbors and seeking opportunities by any means and at any cost.
"The Chinese Communist Party is heading even faster and further in the wrong direction - more internal repression, more predatory economic practices, more heavy-handedness, and most concerning for me, a more aggressive military posture," he said.
According to him, the US did not want to come into conflict with China and noted that the US government provided China with medical supplies to help the country combat the outbreak of a new coronavirus.
However, Esper added, Beijing clarified its long-term intentions and called on Europe and the rest of the world to 'wake up' in the face of the threats posed by China.