China-US relations

US President Donald Trump to name China as a competitor in security speech, officials say

US leader may also reverse Barack Obama’s declaration that climate change is a threat to security, official says

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 17 December, 2017, 12:07pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 17 December, 2017, 12:07pm

US President Donald Trump will lay out a new national security strategy on Monday based on his “America first” policy and will, among other items, make clear that China is a competitor, two senior US officials said on Saturday.

Trump has praised Chinese President Xi Jinping while also demanding that Beijing increase pressure on North Korea over its nuclear programme and to change trade practices to make them more favourable to the United States.

US tipped to take direct aim at China as Trump team loses patience on trade

The national security strategy, to be rolled out in a speech by Trump, should not be seen as an attempt to contain China but rather to offer a clear-eyed look at the challenges China poses, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The strategy, which was still being drafted, may also reverse Democratic President Barack Obama’s declaration in September 2016 that climate change is a threat to security, one official said.

China and the US both have a role in promoting free trade in the Asia-Pacific region

Trump, a Republican, would lay out his foreign policy priorities, and emphasise his commitment to “America first” policies such as building up the US military, confronting Islamist militants and realigning trade relationships to make the US more competitive, the officials said.