Donald Trump campaign's economic adviser, Stephen Moore, decided to share his inflammatory opinion on United States-China relations after Trump sparked international concern over a call with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen. As we might expect from a member of Trump's campaign, Moore's comment was incredibly indelicate.
"If China doesn’t like it, screw ‘em," Moore said in a radio interview.
This comment couldn't have been more poorly timed as the U.S. comes under heavy scrutiny by the Chinese government.
Moore made matters even worse by calling China a bully, saying, "We (sic) gotta stand by Taiwan, we see what's happening in China, the way they're saber-rattling out there in the East. It's about time we do what Reagan did, we stand up to these bullies, we say we're not gonna let you do this, and we're gonna stand with our allies."
Moore only added fuel to the fire Trump himself started on his infamous Twitter account, where he ranted about foreign policy with distinctly un-presidential defensiveness.
Did China ask us if it was OK to devalue their currency (making it hard for our companies to compete), heavily tax our products going into..— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 4, 2016
their country (the U.S. doesn't tax them) or to build a massive military complex in the middle of the South China Sea? I don't think so!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 4, 2016
The Chinese media is apparently down-playing the call, citing Trump's "inexperience" and "lack of proper understanding" of the office he is about to assume. However, there is evidence that Trump planned the call ahead of time and Trump aide Kellyanne Conway assured the public that the action was calculated, saying "he’s well aware of what U.S. policy has been."
Moore's comments were incredibly unprofessional and possibly politically dangerous considering the international climate after Trump dropped this diplomatic bombshell. Trump should enforce stricter guidelines on his representatives, no matter if they are part of his old campaign or his new transition team. If Trump wants to play diplomatic games with world powers, he should at least be able to keep the people closest to him in check.
Banner Image Credit: Twitter, @Reuters