Speaking at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) conference on Friday, Donald Trump accused several states in the region against “violations, cheating or economic aggression”.
Following the successful visit to China, the US President once again showed his true colours in a controversial and accusatory speech in Da Nang, Vietnam. Trump’s speech focused on China, blaming the country for taking jobs, factories and industries out of the United States.
“We can no longer tolerate these chronic trade abuses and we will not tolerate them,” said Trump on Friday.
“Despite years of broken promises, we were told that someday soon everybody would behave fairly and responsibly. People in America and throughout the Indo-Pacific region have awaited that day to come but it never has and that is why I am here today,” he added.
“The United States will no longer turn a blind eye to violations, cheating or economic aggression. Those days are over. We will no longer tolerate the audacious theft of intellectual property,”
Trump did not solely blame Apec but also discussed America’s huge trade imbalance with China.
“They did not. But I will,” he said, in regards to previous US administrations and their role in reducing the deficit. “From this day forward we will compete on a fair and equal basis. We are not going to let the United States be taken advantage of anymore. I am always going to put America first.”
American commentator told the Apec-run channel: “You have two leaders laying out starkly different views: one threats, the other talking about what the opportunities are. It was ‘we together’ versus ‘I alone’,”
“Literally, this is a game-changing moment because countries are now going to have to decide based on those speeches which direction they think their countries want to go. And if you listen to the applause [from the Apec audience] I think it is very clear that they are favouring the positive vision that Xi is laying out versus the very stark vision that Donald Trump was trying to sell,” he added.
Despite Trump’s previous rhetoric on China, he has laid out a more positive approach to their trade relationship. Last year, the total trade relationship between the US and China was worth $648 billion. However, this was heavily skewed in China’s favour, who according to Trump “took advantage”.