Mahathir disagrees with trade war, says Trump inconsistent
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