Former head of the far-right news website Breitbart turned chief strategist at the White House, Steve Bannon, has been scaring the bejesus out of everyone recently with the increasing amount of influence and power he is starting to hold over United States policy.
Which is why recently surfaced comments he made on the radio last March calling war between the US and China in the South China Sea inevitable are raising a few concerns.
Bannon was conducting an interview on Breitbart radio with conservative author Lee Edwards when he said:
We’re going to war in the South China Sea in five to 10 years, aren’t we? There’s no doubt about that. They’re taking their sandbars and making basically stationary aircraft carriers and putting missiles on those. They come here to the United States in front of our face—and you understand how important face is—and say it’s an ancient territorial sea.
Bannon’s views on the South China Sea conflict would seem to fit right in with other senior members of Trump’s administration. Last week, in his first press conference, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said that the US would defend international territories from being taken over by China in the South China Sea. Spicer’s comments followed those made by recently-confirmed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson during his confirmation hearing last month.
“We’re going to have to send China a clear signal that, first, the island-building stops and, second, your access to those islands also is not going to be allowed,” the 64-year-old former Exxon CEO said when asked if he supported a more aggressive posture toward China, adding that China’s island-building was “akin to Russia’s taking of Crimea.”
Following his stunning electoral college victory in November, Donald Trump appointed Bannon to be his White House chief strategist. Earlier this week, Trump continued to expand Bannon’s power and influence by installing him as a regular member of the “Principals Committee” of the National Security Council while dropping off key military and intelligence officials to make room.
The unprecedented move to elevate Bannon to a position where he can actually shape US policy has sparked protests from Democrat lawmakers. Bannon is already believed to have played a major role in crafting Trump’s highly controversial “Muslim ban,” causing protesters to chant “Stop President Bannon!” at protests against the travel ban held in airports around the country.
While Bannon sees Islam as the biggest threat to his Judeo-Christian ideals for America, China isn’t far behind.
“You have an expansionist Islam and you have an expansionist China. Right? They are motivated. They’re arrogant. They’re on the march. And they think the Judeo-Christian west is on the retreat,” Bannon said during a radio show last February.
And now, just one year later, “President Bannon” has the power to stop that “retreat” and launch a counter-attack. We feel safer already.
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