Amid calls for a tougher response from Washington against Beijing for its role in spreading death and destruction of the world economy, Trump tweeted on Tuesday night that “As I watch the Pandemic spread its ugly face all across the world, including the tremendous damage it has done to the USA, I become more and more angry at China.”
As I watch the Pandemic spread its ugly face all across the world, including the tremendous damage it has done to t… https://t.co/qTmMr7rfY1
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 1593557522000
“People can see it, and I can feel it!” Trump wrote in an ominous tweet on Tuesday night, even as he was pilloried by critics for not responding forcefully to China’s rolling up of Hong Kong.
Separately, secretary of state Mike Pompeo welcomed India’s ban on certain mobile apps that he said “can serve as appendages of the Chinese Communist Party’s surveillance state,” adding that New Delhi’s “clean app approach will boost India’s sovereignty and boost integrity and national security.”
The US President has lately resumed taunting Beijing by calling the coronavirus pandemic “kung-flu,” but beyond verbal insults and token moves such as halting travel, he has done little in terms of punitive action against China, according to his critics.
“President Trump will forever be known as the President that lost Hong Kong,” Democratic leader Senator Chuck Schumer said referring to the Chinese crackdown on Hong Kong, even as Republicans accused Democrats of going easy on China and letting it get too big.
Former national security advisor John Bolton is among those who has said Trump is cozy with China’s leader Xi JinPing to the extent of seeking his help in winning a second term, while pretending to be tough with Beijing. Similar charges have been made vis-à-vis Trump and Russia’s Putin. Trump claims that no one has been tougher than him on both China and Russia.
But the more likely explanation for the “strategic incoherence,” is Trump’s now widely-chronicled inability to grasp or focus on complex issues, and, says foreign policy expert Richard Haass, “in no small part because of weak National Security Council & a Potus who sees foreign policy in personal terms.”
While some commentators have urged the administration to come out more openly in support of India in its border spat with China, Trump has been circumspect on the matter, letting his secretary of state Mike Pompeo do the talking. Trump himself has remained enigmatic, not elaborating on the outcome of his getting angrier with China.