A top CIA official for Asia said Friday that Beijing is waging a "cold war" against Washington and seeking "to replace the United States as the leading power in the world."

Speaking at the annual Aspen Security Forum in Aspen, Colorado, CIA East Asia Mission Center Deputy Assistant Director Michael Collins' remarks at a public session on the rise of China were some of the starkest comments to date about Beijing's intentions not only in Asia, but also across the globe.

Collins said the Chinese leadership "has been aspiring, expanding its ambitions, its interests, its activities around the globe to compete with the United States, and at the end of day, to undermine our influence relative to their influence."