Ma­hathir dis­agrees with trade war, says Trump in­con­sis­tent

The Myanmar Times - Weekend - - Asean Focus -

MALAYSIAN Prime Min­is­ter Ma­hathir Mo­hamad gave a frank as­sess­ment of US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, say­ing he needed to be con­sis­tent.

He also said that he dis­agreed with Trump’s ap­proach in deal­ing with China.

Ma­hathir, dur­ing a meet­ing with the renowned US Coun­cil of For­eign Re­la­tions, took ques­tions, some of which were on Trump.

He was at one point asked to give his as­sess­ment of the US leader.

“He said he wanted to meet the leader of (North) Korea, then he said he will not meet, and then he says he will meet. So it’s very dif­fi­cult to make out what he wants to do.”

Ma­hathir was also asked whether Trump’s de­ci­sions on Asia were “wise” in the minds of Malaysians and whether it was good for Malaysia.

“I don’t know. I get the im­pres­sion that he doesn’t know much about Asia, and there­fore he makes de­ci­sions that are not based on re­al­ity or the facts on the ground. He seems to be think­ing about Amer­ica and think­ing only how to make Amer­ica great again.

“I think you can make Amer­ica great in many other ways, but hav­ing a trade war is not the best way of serv­ing Amer­ica,” he said.

Asked whether he agreed with Trump’s ap­proach on China, Ma­hathir said he did not.

He was also asked to weigh on who he thought would out­last the other in a trade war be­tween the United States and China.

“I think China has been there for the past 4000 years; it’s dif­fi­cult to get rid of China. Thirty years ago, China was a very poor coun­try and it sur­vived. So if you make it poor again, I think it will sur­vive.”

On whether the lead­er­ship role of the United States has been di­min­ished due to its ap­proach to China, Ma­hathir noted that the US Pres­i­dent is a very pow­er­ful per­son.

“What­ever he does af­fects the whole world, so it’s a ques­tion of per­son­al­ity, not so much a na­tion. I don’t think Amer­i­cans are in full agree­ment with their pres­i­dent all the time. But this one, I think more Amer­i­cans are un­happy with the pres­i­dent than at other times with other pres­i­dents.”

Asked what ad­vice he would give to Trump re­gard­ing pol­icy in Asia, Ma­hathir said the US Pres­i­dent must be con­sis­tent. “Be con­sis­tent. If you want to fight us, say you want to fight us.

“If you don’t want to fight us and you want to be friends, say so and be friends,” said Ma­hathir.

– The Star On­line

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