China finds Trump's team 'very confusing' to diplomats, ambassador to USA says

Minnie Murray
October 18, 2018

US President Donald Trump have claimed that his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin was "probably" involved in assassinations and poisonings, but "it's not in our country".

In an interview on "Fox News Sunday", Ambassador Cui Tiankai said it's unclear to him whether President Donald Trump is listening primarily to hardliners like White House Director of Trade Peter Navarro, or relative moderates like chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

The President said he "might - might" - impose more tariffs on China. Rarely making United States public appearances, the ambassador clarified China's position in the current trade war. Cui said other ambassadors in Washington shared his frustration. "They don't know who is the final decision-maker". But who is playing what role? "Sometimes it could be very confusing".

Later, Stahl raised first lady Melania Trump's comments in an ABC News interview last week in which she said she didn't trust everybody in the White House.

The latest airing of grievances occurred at the end of a week that saw a sharp drop in the U.S. stock market, which analysts blamed partly on uncertainties sparked by the trans-Pacific trade dispute. "China has to respond and defend our own interests", Cui stated. They added, however, that there was still time to avert such a disaster. Pressed on how he treated Kavanaugh's accusers, Trump defended mocking Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and said it was key to getting Kavanaugh confirmed.

His move comes at a time when the U.S. economy has been growing robustly while Chinese growth has slowed, adding to the pressure on Beijing. Over the last six month, the United States has imposed additional tariff on import of more than USD250 billion products.

Cui further claimed that the US's accusations of Beijing stealing intellectual property are baseless and not fair to the Chinese people. "Well, I don't know", he said.

Trump declined to say whether he will fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions, saying only that "we'll see what happens come midterms". "That's what is at stake".

Host Chris Wallace asked Cui to respond to Vice President Mike Pence's allegation earlier this week that the Chinese government is buying space for its anti-tariff propaganda in media read by USA farmers. He accused Beijing of "predatory" trade practices, of military 'aggression, ' of attacks on personal freedoms and religious minorities, and even of electoral interference aimed at unseating Trump by running ads in American newspapers. Cui responded by saying that the Chinese media is only now learning how to do this from its United States counterpart.

To close the interview, Stahl asked Trump about finding his "sea legs' as president".

Mattis has often publicly walked back some of Trump's more controversial statements on foreign policy, and the two have a strained relationship, longtime journalist Bob Woodward, an associate editor at The Washington Post, reported in his book "Fear".

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