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Trump says China thinks US is 'stupid,' vows more pain
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) Oct 11, 2018

President Donald Trump on Thursday accused China of thinking Americans are "stupid" and vowed that he was ready to inflict economic pain on the Asian power.

"They lived too well for too long and, frankly, I guess they think that the Americans are stupid people. Americans are not stupid people," the outspoken mogul-turned-president told "Fox and Friends."

Trump boasted that the $250 billion in tariffs he has slapped on Chinese products have "had a big impact."

"Their economy has gone down very substantially," he said. "I have a lot more to do if I want to do it. I don't want to do it but they have to come to the table."

Trump is pressing China to improve trading conditions for US products and to end what US businesses say is widespread theft of their intellectual property.

China has responded by imposing countertariffs, which the Trump administration alleges show political interference by targeting products from key states in next month's congressional elections.

The International Monetary Fund this week cited the trade war as it lowered its 2019 growth forecast for China, which is set to see its slowest expansion since 1990, but also lowered estimates for the United States and the global economy as a whole.

Trump renewed his charge that past presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush "let China get out of control."

"We are not going to pay $500 billion a year to China and rebuild China," Trump said, likely referring to the total annual imports of Chinese goods into the United States.

"We have helped rebuild China more than any other factor. We have helped rebuild it. I said it's over."

The undiplomatic language comes as disputes mount in numerous areas between China and the United States, ending the early bonhomie between Trump and his counterpart Xi Jinping.

US authorities on Wednesday said they arrested an alleged Chinese intelligence agent for plotting to obtain trade secrets from GE Aviation and other companies.

Pence warns Central American leaders on China ties
Washington (AFP) Oct 11, 2018 - US Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday warned Central American nations to be cautious when building relations with China, which has been increasingly active in the region.

Amid mounting tensions between the United States and China, Pence brought up ties with Beijing as he met in Washington with leaders of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras as well as Mexico's foreign secretary.

"I say to each of those nations represented here, on behalf of our administration, as you build commercial partnerships with other nations including China, we urge you to focus on and demand transparency and look after your and our long-term interests," he said.

El Salvador in August recognized Beijing in the latest diplomatic setback for Taiwan, the self-ruling democratic island which China considers to be a renegade province.

Central America has remained the key bastion for Taiwan, with Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua still maintaining ties with Taipei rather than Beijing, which has used its economic muscle and promises of investment to entice governments.

The United States recognizes Beijing but is congressionally bound to ensure Taiwan's defense, with President Donald Trump's administration especially vocal on defending Taiwan diplomatically.

China has also ramped up trade with Latin America as a whole in the Asian power's quest for natural resources, in places commercially outpacing the United States which has rejected foreign influence in the region in a policy dating nearly two centuries.

Pence was meeting with the Central American leaders to stem the flow of undocumented migration into the United States, a key issue for Trump, who rose to power characterizing immigrants as criminals and vowing to build a wall on the southern border.

The vice president asked the Central American leaders to send a message to their citizens that, "If they can't come to the United States legally, they should not come at all."

"As the old saying goes, there's no place like home," Pence said, using the memorable line of Dorothy in the classic movie "The Wizard of Oz."

Pence acknowledged that greater prosperity in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras -- the so-called Northern Triangle -- was vital to encouraging undocumented migrants from making the treacherous path north.

"Your people will stay home if they believe there is a brighter future for them there," he said.

"Today even as countries like China try to expand their influence in the region, the best way to solve these problems, we believe, is to strengthen the bonds between the US and the Northern Triangle and all the nations of our hemisphere, to strengthen the economic ties between our nations."

Related Links
Learn about the Superpowers of the 21st Century at SpaceWar.com
Learn about nuclear weapons doctrine and defense at SpaceWar.com

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NATO flexes muscles in show of strength to Russia
Brussels (AFP) Oct 9, 2018
NATO's largest exercise since the end of the Cold War will see 50,000 troops deploy into the first snows of a Norwegian winter to show Russia that the alliance is ready to repel any attack, officers said Tuesday. Officially, November's Trident Juncture exercise will simulate an attack from a fictional country, but it will bring a huge force into one of Moscow's neighbours just months after Russia's vast Vostok war games. The head of NATO's Allied Joint Force Command, US Navy Admiral James Foggo ... read more

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