China’s nationalistic tabloid, the Global Times, has published an editorial attempting to explain Donald Trump’s missile strike against Syria which threatens to shake up his Mar-a-Lago summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
“Trump’s decision to attack the Assad government is a show of force from the US president,” the editorial reads. “He wants to prove that he dares to do what Obama dared not. He wants to prove to the world that he is no ‘businessman president’ and that he will use US military force without hesitation when he considers it necessary.”
Experts believe that Trump may have timed the strike to take place during his dinner with Xi in order to send that message specifically to the Chinese president; illustrating his willingness to use military power to address conflicts that arise in Taiwan, the South China Sea, and, of course, North Korea. Earlier this week, Trump ominously vowed that “If China is not going to solve North Korea, we will.”
The Global Times fails to speculate on this possiblity. Meanwhile, China has stopped short of condemning the US strikes against a Syrian airfield. “China always opposes the use of force and insists that disputes be solved peacefully through dialogue,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said at a press briefing on Friday, adding that China urges the “protection of security in Syria” in order to prevent the situation from worsening further, calling on relevant parties to “stick to political settlements.”
“We don’t allow anyone, for any purpose, to use chemical weapons,” Hua added.
However, China has long voted against sanctions and interventions in Syria, even as the number of chemical bombings against civilians continue to rise. Recently, China’s official Xinhua news agency has been relaying the Syrian regime’s side of the story without criticism.
— China Xinhua News (@XHNews) April 6, 2017
Syria "has not, did not and will not" use chemical weapons against Syrian people or even against terrorists: Syrian FM pic.twitter.com/8AXC5bVeBX
— China Xinhua News (@XHNews) April 7, 2017
More substantive talks between Xi and Trump will commence later today. Already, Trump claims that the two leaders have “developed a friendship.”
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