US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping. A compromise and recognition of each other's different systems could be the way forward. Photo: AFP/Paul J Richards

President Joe Biden anticipates the US rivalry with China will take the form of “extreme competition” rather than conflict between the two world powers.

Biden said in an excerpt of a CBS interview aired Sunday that he has not spoken with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping since he became US president.

“He’s very tough. He doesn’t have – and I don’t mean it as a criticism, just the reality – he doesn’t have a democratic, small D, bone in his body,” Biden said.

“I’ve said to him all along, that we need not have a conflict. But there’s going to be extreme competition,” Biden said.

“I’m not going to do it the way Trump did. We’re going to focus on international rules of the road.”

China is considered in Washington as the United States’ number one strategic adversary, and the primary challenge on the world stage.

Former President Donald Trump had chosen open confrontation and verbal attacks, without serious tangible results for the enormous US trade deficit with China.

Biden has systematically dismantled many of the more controversial measures of the Trump era, while at the same time signaling that the United States will closely look out for its own interests.