Former President Barack Obama attributed Donald Trump’s inauguration to China’s escalating hostility from his home in Australia.
Obama discussed foreign policy during a paid speaking engagement Tuesday in Sydney as part of a profitable deal that may earn him as much as $1 million, according to reports.
Obama described Chinese President Xi Jinping as having a “forceful and confident” demeanor in his conversation with the outgoing Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop, according to the Daily Mail Australia and NCA Newswire.
The Democrat claimed that China started to change “once I left office” in 2017, the year Trump was elected president after defeating Hillary Clinton, Obama’s preferred candidate.
Obama said of Xi, “I think he saw an opportunity with my successor coming in because the U.S. president appeared to not be concerned that much about a rules-founded international system.”
“Obama said that as a result, and in light of China’s position, we can take advantage of the fact that there appears to be a vacuum there internationally on many of these issues.”
During his four years in office, Trump pursued a trade war against China that included high import tariffs in an effort to close a deficit that he claimed was hurting the United States. This was done in addition to his efforts to reach an agreement. Trump has publicly stated that he believes Obama and his predecessors were responsible for China’s rise to such dominance.
In 2019, Trump said to Fox News anchor Steve Hilton, “They took advantage of us for many, many years. And I place the responsibility on us, not on them. You’re not at fault, President Xi. Not just President Obama, but all of our leaders, are to blame. You have a lengthy history. You observe Bush, Clinton, and everyone else. They produced a monster by allowing this to occur. China received so much funding that we reconstructed the country.”
U.S. intelligence officials are now cautioning that China has grown to be the biggest national security danger to the United States more than two years into Joe Biden’s presidency. Biden previously served as Obama’s vice president. More than a year into Russia’s conflict in Ukraine, Chinese President Xi met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow last week. There, they reached agreements that strengthened commercial ties between their two nations.
Obama allegedly noted that relations between the US and China are “significantly strained” during the event in Australia and predicted that tensions are “not likely to go away anytime soon.”
“Nor should they,” Obama said, referring to Beijing’s territorial disputes with many of its Asian neighbors, “because I believe there are certain fundamental distinctions in terms of the way we operate when we look at the South China Sea.”
“The reality is that if China begins claiming what were once international waters, it will make life tough for its neighbors and for everyone in the long run. In fact, Obama doesn’t even believe it will be beneficial for China.”