China Daily

Trump’s inaugural speech spurs worry

‘America first’ pledge causes uncertaint­y around the globe


The “America first” pledge made by Donald Trump in his inaugural address on Friday has created uncertaint­y in many countries over what that will actually mean in terms of US policies.

Although Trump did not directly challenge China in the speech — as he had done in the past month — Beijing should still prepare for possible trade frictions with Washington, experts said.

In his 16-minute address, Trump vowed to make “every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigratio­n, on foreign affairs” to benefit United States citizens. He pledged to end what he has called wrongheade­d efforts to help other nations at the expense of US interests.

“For many decades, we’ve enriched foreign industry at the expense of American industry; subsidized the armies of other countries while allowing the very sad depletion of our military. We’ve defended other nations’ borders while refusing to defend our own, and spent trillions of dollars overseas while America’s infrastruc­ture has fallen into disrepair and decay,” he said.

Trump’s speech, featuring what many analysts called his usual protection­ist rhetoric, is considered among the factors leading to worries and protests in many countries.

Calling the inaugurati­on speech “hostile”, former Belgian prime minister Guy Verhofstad­t wrote on Twitter: “We can’t sit around & hope for US support & cooperatio­n. Europe must take its destiny & security in its own hands.”

The Washington Post reported that in London, hundreds chanted slogans such as “dump Trump” outside the US embassy. In Mexico City, residents on social networks debated just how bad the new era might be. The Post’s report’s headline was “After Trump pledges ‘America first,’ the world responds with protests and dismay”.

According to a BBC report, millions in the US and around the world protested against Trump’s new administra­tion on Saturday. The largest US rally was in Washington, where city officials estimated that crowd to number more than 500,000, the report said.

China’s Foreign Ministry

had not responded to Trump’s speech as of press time Sunday.

At a regular news conference held shortly before Trump’s inaugurati­on on Friday, Foreign Ministry spokeswoma­n Hua Chunying said China will continue to stick to the principles of nonconflic­t, nonconfron­tation, mutual respect and cooperatio­n for win-win results to develop ties with the new US government.

“Since the establishm­ent of Sino-US ties, there have been ups and downs in the bilateral relationsh­ip, but it kept moving forward,” she said.

Jin Yong, a professor of internatio­nal relations at the Communicat­ion University of China, said Beijing should prepare for challenges to the one-China policy and in trade issues given that Trump emphasized those issues in this statement.

Ruan Zongze, vice-president of the China Institute of Internatio­nal Studies, said Trump’s taking office may be a major event that is unexpected for internatio­nal relations.

“Trump could change the image of the United States, and we may see an America that will say ‘no’ more frequently,” he said.

He added that the whole world, including many traditiona­l allies of the US, are worried about the uncertaint­ies presented by Trump taking power.

“Fasten your seat belts. This is the only choice for the world when facing a changing America,” he said.

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