It appears that Trump believes the US has an interest in what China is doing in the South Chins Sea, that a threat of war must be held over China about its installations in that ocean region and that he believes it is the US that has made China a rich country, rather than that the Chinese people have thrown off the shackles of communism
More from the two telephone conversations on Friday, where Donald Trump discussed his views on foreign policy with Maggie Haberman and David E. Sanger of The New York Times:
TRUMP:...We, we have to think also in terms – we have to think about the world, but we also have – I mean look at what China’s doing in the South China Sea. I mean they are totally disregarding our country and yet we have made China a rich country because of our bad trade deals. Our trade deals are so bad. And we have made them – we have rebuilt China and yet they will go in the South China Sea and build a military fortress the likes of which perhaps the world has not seen. Amazing, actually. They do that, and they do that at will because they have no respect for our president and they have no respect for our country. Hey folks,..
HABERMAN: I just had one quick follow-up on what you were saying about the South China Sea. How would you counter that assertiveness over those islands? Among other things, it’s increasingly valuable real estate strategically. Would you be willing to build our own islands there?
TRUMP: Well what you have to do – and you have to speak to Japan and other countries, because they’re affected far greater than we are – you understand that – I mean, they’re affected far – I just think the act is so brazen, and it’s so terrible that they would do that without any consultation, without anything, and yet they’ll sell their products to the United States and rebuild China, and frankly, even the islands, I mean, you know, they’ve made so much economic progress because of the United States. And in the meantime we’re becoming a third-world nation. You look at our airports, you look at our roadways, you look at our bridges are falling down. They’re building bridges all over the place, ours are falling down. You know, we’ve rebuilt China. The money they’ve drained out of the United States has rebuilt China. And they’ve done it through monetary manipulation, by devaluations. And very sophisticated. I mean, they’re grand chess players at devaluation. But they’ve done it –
SANGER: I think what Maggie was asking was how would you deter their activity. Right now (Crosstalk) – But would you claim some of those reef scenarios to try to build our own military –
TRUMP: Perhaps, but we have great economic – and people don’t understand this – but we have tremendous economic power over China. We have tremendous power. And that’s the power of trade. Because they use us as their bank, as their piggy bank, they take – but they don’t have to pay us back. It’s better than a bank because they take money out but then they don’t have to pay us back.
SANGER: So you would cut into trade in return –
TRUMP: No, I would use trade to negotiate.
HABERMAN: Oh, O.K. My last question. Sir, my last –
TRUMP: I would use trade to negotiate. Would I go to war? Look, let me just tell you. There’s a question I wouldn’t want to answer. Because I don’t want to say I won’t or I will or – do you understand that, David? That’s the problem with our country. A politician would say, ‘Oh I would never go to war,’ or they’d say, ‘Oh I would go to war.’ I don’t want to say what I’d do because, again, we need unpredictability.