Go to home page

Donald Trump Explains His Change of Mind on China Policy

Aug. 5, 2020 (EIRNS)—Most readers will recall that President Donald Trump developed an excellent working relationship with China’s President Xi Jinping early in his Presidency, exchanging state visits and referring regularly to him as “my friend.” Even in the first weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, Trump praised China’s decisive containment measures, and their astonishing ability to erect entire hospitals within weeks. In an interview with Lou Dobbs on Fox TV last night, Trump explained that his thinking changed because of what he considers China’s responsibility for the COVID-19 pandemic:

“The [trade] deal with China was a great deal, but I don’t feel the same way as I did. Look, we have been—we have lost 160,000 people. We’re going to lose more. We would have lost millions had I just let it ride, as the expression goes. We could have lost millions at the same time. Can you imagine, with all of the death, and now you multiply that number times 10, 15 or even 20? It would have been unsustainable and unacceptable. But this was caused by China. And so it certainly has had a negative impact. I have—I had a really great relationship with President Xi, as good as you can have, I would suggest. And—but it just is—it’s been such a horrible, horrible thing, when you see everyone walking around now with masks.”

In a White House press briefing on Aug. 4, Trump’s opening remarks and the Q&A also included numerous attacks on China. Trump said that “we’ve gotten to understand this horrible, horrible plague that’s been unleashed on our country by China.... This should have never happened to us. It should have been stopped at—very easily, by China, in Wuhan.” And in response to a question about the elections, Trump stated: “We want to take care of the eviction problem [in the U.S.]. People are being evicted very unfairly. It’s not their fault. It’s China’s fault; it’s not their fault.”

Trump then spoke about his own change of mind on China: “I think our attitude on China has changed greatly since the China virus hit us. I think it changed greatly. It hit the world, and it shouldn’t have. They should have been able to stop it. So, we feel differently. I just don’t know. When you lose—when you lose so many thousands of people, and—you know, ultimately, it’ll be millions of people around the world. It’s a terrible thing that happened to the United States and Europe and the entire world. Really a terrible thing.”

Back to top    Go to home page clear