In true Trump fashion, the president lost his spine when confronted by another one of his adversaries.
We saw a glimpse of this side of Trump when he visited Mexico and “forgot” to talk about the wall he promises to build. This time, his cowardly behavior was in China.
Since he announced his presidency, Donald Trump has been very vocal about his distaste for China. However, during his state visit to China this week, President Trump refused to uphold U.S Norms or show his self-proclaimed strength. He did this by not responding to reporters questions in a nation that punishes journalists.
The People’s Republic of China is a communist nation. So, though China itself is an economic superpower, it’s citizens are nevertheless subject to restrictions that would be unheard of in the western world. Restrictions such as limited social media access (or access to the internet in general) and a limited press.
China notoriously rejects questions from American reporters during state visits. But, usually, American presidents insist on allowing reporters to ask questions. Because we, as Americans, see the extreme value in freedom of speech and press. As CNN’s Jake Tapper recounted: Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and even George Bush made it a point to answer reporters questions during their state visits:
Trump seems to have forgotten this very basic civics lesson because he did not insist on Free Press while in China. In fact, he gave in to the Chinese government’s rule with seemingly no protest.
When asked about this, White House Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders said: “It was at the Chinese insistence that there were no questions today”. Because the American government apparently abandons American ideals while on foreign soil. This is supposedly the new norm.
With this incident in mind, it’s almost no surprise that a year after his election, Donald Trump has not fulfilled virtually any aspect of his campaign platform. Not immigration reform, not tax reform, not securing funds for the wall, not trade deal renegotiations and, apparently, not even promoting a strong image for the United States.