As per the US President, Donald Trump's National Security Advisor, John Bolton, Trump's policy with China is not simply about economy or trade, it is a question of power. Bolton claimed this on Sunday, September 23, 2018. Bolton, in an interview with Fox News, said that China is still trying to figure out what the president is up to.
"I think they're still trying to figure out what the president's up to, although there's no doubt, in some of the tariffs that they have imposed, they have targeted the president's supporters in Congress to see if they can change the majority," Bolton said.
"I think a lot of people don't understand exactly what's at stake here. I think the president will address this. This is not just an economic issue. This is not just talking about tariffs and the terms of trade. This is a question of power, Bolton further added.
Bolton also added that the intellectual property has a major impact on China's economic capacity, and, therefore, on its military capacity.
''I think the president correctly understands when China gets economic power by stealing from the US and others, it's time to call a stop to it'', said the top national security advisor.
Bolton agreed that China is applying its economic power toward its military complex by creating islands in the South China Sea and then setting military bases there.
''They (China) talk in the Middle East about creating facts on the ground in the Israel-Palestinian issue. China's creating the ground in the South China Sea and putting more facts on top of it. It's very dangerous, very aggressive, something that the administration has confronted'', he said.
''I think all of this goes to what will be the major theme of the 21st century, which is how China and the United States get along'', Bolton added.
Trump has been ramping up pressure on China to reduce the USD 336 billion trade deficit in the USD 710.4 billion bilateral trade slapping three rounds of sanctions. On Tuesday, September 18, 2018, Trump slapped 10 percent tariffs on USD 200 billion worth of Chinese imports and the duties which will rise to a whopping 25 percent at the end of 2018.
China has retaliated by hitting USD 60 billion in US products and the world's two largest economies have already imposed tariffs of USD 50 billion on each other. The Trump administration has also punished a unit of China's defense ministry for buying fighter jets and missiles from Russia in defiance of sanctions on Moscow.