Trump’s foreign policy proposal fails to convince

By Liu Zhun Source:Global Times Published: 2016-4-29 0:18:02

After sweeping five states in Tuesday's primaries, Donald Trump, self-professed presumptive Republican presidential nominee, on Wednesday expounded his foreign policy for the first time, in which he vowed to use America economic power to get China to do "what they have to do with North Korea."

As an anti-establishment candidate, Trump's foreign policy is more a scathing complaint about the current foreign policy establishment than a useful set of proposals to improve the wisdom of the White House.

Vowing to put "America first," Trump encapsulated the specifics of his foreign policy based on a simple reworking of his campaign slogan "Make America Great Again." However, without nuances and insights, most of his foreign policy will prove hollow, nationalistic and inconsistent.

Trump pledged a major military buildup by "ending the theft of American jobs," a prompt destruction of the Islamic State (IS) by reinforcing cooperation with US allies in the Middle East, and a remodeling of US foreign policy that is based on "American interests and the shared interests of our allies."

However, most of his proposals are rife with contradictions. Saying "America is going to be a reliable friend and ally again," Trump also warned NATO, Japan and South Korea that he would withdraw its defense if they don't "pay for the cost of this defense."

He defined counterterrorism in the Middle East as a "two-way street," calling on US allies in the region to do more in the fight against the IS. However, how strong and convincing can his rallying cry be if it is endorsed by someone who has offended almost all of the world's Muslims by threatening to ban them from stepping foot in the US?

Even though he voiced willingness to develop a good relationship with China, his blinkered knowledge of US-China business cooperation is worrying. Accusing China's economic presence in the US as an "assault on American jobs," and claiming that the US has "economic power" over China, Trump is seriously wrong about how economies work in the present world.

If his expressed concerns over China stealing American jobs have been deeply embedded, how trustworthy can his claims of developing an amicable Sino-US relationship actually be?

One can find many other contradictions in Trump's foreign policy statement.

At the end of his address, Trump argued for the importance of an organized and transparent foreign policy, saying "the best way to achieve these goals is through disciplined, deliberate and consistent foreign policy." But at the start of the speech, he said "we have to be unpredictable, and we have to be unpredictable starting now." Clearly, this is a fractured foreign policy from a politician with a split personality.

But ironically and uncannily, he is battling his way toward becoming the most powerful man in the world.

Posted in: Observer

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