Hillary Clinton sees risks China poses to U.S.

Speaking with Larry King on his nightly CNN program On the Record, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton explained her assessment of the threat posed by China to the U.S. At the heart of this threat, she added, is Trump’s apparent willingness to side with Beijing against its longtime ally, the U.S. As a primary example, she cited the disputes between China and its other Asian neighbors over who has the claim to islands in the South China Sea. This claim has brought increased tension with Japan, whose dispute with China over the uninhabited Diaoyu island in the East China Sea is still simmering.

Then there’s the ongoing fight for commerce. Several decades ago, China and Taiwan officially split, but China continues to view Taiwan as a breakaway province. When King asked what the “fringe nationalist groups” in Taiwan are up to, Clinton pointed the finger at President Tsai Ing-wen’s government, saying that if the Tsai administration continued to support China, “this could get really nasty.” She went on to note that what makes such conflicts so dangerous is that the U.S. has “fought wars with these kinds of forces” and that “it gets ugly.”

But whatever difficulties may exist at the outer edge of the sphere of influence, Clinton did allude to the potential benefits that might be forthcoming from the newly reset relationship with China, which can be particularly valuable in forging a more stable regional security environment:

And maybe the relationships can facilitate other ways to help each other for trade purposes, or for other things. So maybe we can use [that relationship] for other priorities we’ve got, including going after al-Qaeda, or — excuse me — being more vigilant for people who are disrupting the legitimate economies of other countries. And, you know, China as a former host of the Olympics, by the way, I have a lot of confidence in President Xi’s intentions, his commitment to doing the right thing, but I have no confidence at all that the president of the United States has the same commitment to staying engaged with China.

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