The time has come for the rubber to meet the road for President-elect Donald Trump’s year-long tirade of talking tough about China’s relationship with the United States. Trump failed his first test in dealing with China after he backpedaled like a coward in regard to a minor diplomatic standoff over an oceanic drone owned by the United States. After claiming credit for ending the standoff, Trump then said he did not want the drone back. In the aftermath of that scenario, a state-run Chinese publication called out Trump as an amateur who does not know how to run a country, and they vowed if his behavior continues they may consider retribution to teach Trump “some lessons.”
The comments were printed in the “Global Times”, a Chinese state-run publication which publishes the official stances of the government. The editorial stated, “Trump is not behaving as a president who will become master of the White House in a month. He bears no sense of how to lead a superpower.”
There is little debate amongst thinking people that Trump is not fit to lead and the newspaper issued an ominous warning for the future if Trump’s belligerent behavior continues:
If he treats China after assuming office in the same way as in his tweets, China will not exercise restraint. The Chinese government should be fully prepared for a hardline Trump.
Simple math shows the Chinese government has a larger standing army, with 2.3 million, compared to 1.4 million in the United States. Furthermore, China has an overall population that is roughly four times larger than the United States. Meaning if the Chinese government chose to not exercise restraint, they would surely have the ability to do so.
The matter becomes further complicated when one looks at comments Trump has made in the past about nuclear warfare, in stating he would be willing to unleash the most horrific weapons humanity has ever produced. Trump said, “I’m not going to take cards off the table. We have nuclear capability.”
Having shown his inability to tolerate criticism or, really, anything which he finds unfavorable Trump’s thin skin may literally lead the United States to the brink of war and beyond. The editor of the Global Times, Hu Xijin, said in an online video:
China should teach him some lessons so he might learn to respect China after he is sworn in.
The severity and gravity of this comment by Hu cannot be overstated. The Global Times publishes the official propaganda of the Chinese government on a regular basis. Hu would not make such a statement without the permission of the government to do so, and he was acting as their pawn to issue a warning to Trump.
What might the “lessons” China seeks to teach Trump be? Economic retaliation? A provocative military posture? Perhaps they will attempt to impede of the sovereignty a contested territory which has an alliance with the United States to bait Trump into overreacting, which is his stock intrade. As Hillary Clinton said during the campaign when she warned voters, “A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons.”
China has chosen not to bait Trump with a tweet, but with an official article. If the past history of Trump’s responses are any indication as to how he will react, it will not be with poise or grace. It will be hostile and over the top, which will further push this potential spiral of violence to its boiling point. This is a tragedy happening in slow motion for every single citizen of the planet Earth.
Lou Colagiovanni is an investigative journalist living in Las Vegas who specializes in politics and crime. His work has been highlighted all over the world and he is regularly featured on television and radio.