US vows tougher ap­proach to China

The Philippine Star - - WORLD -

WASH­ING­TON (Reuters) — United States na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser John Bolton has vowed to fur­ther in­ten­sify the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion’s tough ap­proach to China, say­ing Bei­jing’s “be­hav­ior needs to be ad­justed in the trade area, in the in­ter­na­tional, mil­i­tary and po­lit­i­cal ar­eas.”

Speaking in a ra­dio in­ter­view on the “Hugh He­witt Show” recorded on Thurs­day and aired on Fri­day, Bolton said Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump be­lieves China had taken ad­van­tage of the in­ter­na­tional order for far too long and not enough Amer­i­cans had stood up to it.

“Now’s the time to do it,” he said.

Bolton said Trump’s tough ap­proach to­ward China, a coun­try the ad­min­is­tra­tion saw as the “ma­jor is­sue this cen­tury,” had left Bei­jing “con­fused.”

“They’ve never seen an Amer­i­can pres­i­dent this tough be­fore. I think their be­hav­ior needs to be ad­justed in the trade area, in the in­ter­na­tional, mil­i­tary and po­lit­i­cal ar­eas, in a whole range of ar­eas,” he said.

“Per­haps we’ll see at the G20 meet­ing in Ar­gentina next month Xi Jin­ping will­ing to come to talk turkey on some of these is­sues,” he added.

Bolton’s re­marks came amid a se­ries of ad­min­is­tra­tion broad­sides against China that goes be­yond a trade war. These have in­cluded ac­cus­ing Bei­jing of try­ing to un­der­mine Trump ahead of next month’s con­gres­sional elec­tions and of tak­ing reck­less mil­i­tary ac­tions in the South China Sea.

US Trea­sury Sec­re­tary Steven Mnuchin on Fri­day said Trump would go through with plans to meet Xi at the G20 sum­mit if it looked pos­si­ble to chart “a pos­i­tive di­rec­tion.” He said, how­ever, that re-launch­ing trade talks with China would re­quire Bei­jing to com­mit to tak­ing ac­tion on struc­tural re­forms to its econ­omy.

Bolton called re­cent Chi­nese be­hav­ior in the South China Sea, where a US war­ship had a near col­li­sion with a Chi­nese ves­sel last month, “dan­ger­ous” and said the US was de­ter­mined to keep in­ter­na­tional sea lanes open.

“This is some­thing the Chi­nese need to un­der­stand,” he said, adding that al­lies in­clud­ing Bri­tain and Aus­tralia were also sail­ing through the South China Sea to make this point.

“We’re go­ing to do a lot more on that,” he added.

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