Donald Trump, to borrow a phrase, is “dead to me.” Well, not exactly, but in a radio interview Wednesday with a San Francisco-based nutritionist, Trump did indulge in one of modern politicians’ most irritating habits: praising the airports in developing countries like China, and lamenting the “third world” airports we supposedly have here in the United States.
“Look at our airports,” Trump thundered, with his inimitable combination of contempt and braggadocio, “JFK, LaGuardia, Newark . . . they’re like third world airports.”
If you go to China, meanwhile, Trump averred, “you won’t even believe what you’re seeing. And then you come home and land at LaGuardia where they have potholes in the runway.”
As it happens, I have been to China several times, and I can attest that they do have a few nice airports. Indeed, many of them have been newly constructed. But that’s because a few years ago, most Chinese airports looked like this. Of course, as that country develops and the aviation industry there expands, it’s going to build new airports. America, by contrast, has had a developed aviation industry for decades; the infrastructure needed to support the industry has been in place for quite some time.
Trump et al. seem, bizarrely, to want to build new airports simply for the hell of it. Would he support demolishing Trump Tower and constructing a new one its place just because there happen to be a few new skyscrapers in Shanghai? There’s a reason we refer to the United States as a developed country, and China as a developing one.
And that’s not to say that American airports are languishing in disrepair – in fact, the ones we have are constantly being improved. Dulles International Airport, just outside of Washington, recently opened a superb indoor train system, largely replacing the awful “moon rovers” that passengers used to rely on. Detroit’s airport, already one of the nicest in the country, is sprucing up its restaurant selection; the airport now even hosts an outpost of the famous Zingerman’s Deli of Ann Arbor. And it was recently announced that the much-maligned LaGuardia Airport in New York will have its terminals completely rebuilt.
Wednesday’s illogical screed was a depressing indication that Trump, for all his claims to being the anti-politician, can easily succumb to Biden-itis.
Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard and a Republican candidate for president, will address the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California, on Monday evening on her foreign policy outlook. In her speech, Fiorina will discuss how as president she would broker a "new deal" with Iran, call for expanding defense spending, and address China, whom she calls "our rising adversary."
You can watch her speech live at 9 pm ET here. Fiorina's remarks as prepared for delivery are below:
Secretary of State John Kerry defended the Obama administration's decision to take the Iran deal to the United Nations before the U.S. Congress votes on it. Kerry made the remarks in an interview this morning on ABC News:
The ABC reporter, Jon Karl, asked, "But the bottom line, the UN is going to vote on this before Congress gets to vote on this?"
Bill Kristol appeared with Steve Malzberg on Newsmax TV Tuesday to discuss Donald Trump's influence on the Republican presidential field. The boss argued that despite Trump's inappropriate comments about illegal immigrants, Republicans should not be so quick to disregard the issues the real-estate mogul has raised, including illegal immigration and the threat of China.
The World Bank last week removed a chapter of its latest report on China, saying it had not been properly reviewed. It seems that the chapter, “Special Topic: Reform Priorities in China’s Financial Sector” called China’s financial sector wasteful, poor performing, overly indebted and weakly regulated. Otherwise, fine.
China’s foreign aid programs are distinguished by size (much larger than those of other countries), breadth (encompassing 92 emerging-market countries in six geographic regions), and composition (focused on mining and exports of natural resources and supporting infrastructure).
President Obama met with China’s Special Representatives to the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue and Consultation on People-to-People Exchange earlier today, according to the White House. A topic of discussion? America's cyber concerns.
Obama even "urged China to take concrete steps to lower tensions," according to a White House readout of the meeting.
Earlier this month, the G7 met in Bavaria; its seven members are the major European and North American economies, plus Japan. The G7 is the successor to the G8—Vladimir Putin’s Russia has been suspended, having invaded and annexed parts of Ukraine, and now actively making mischief on NATO’s Baltic border. ISIS, meanwhile, is murdering its way through the Middle East, and China is building islands in international waters. So the G7 had quite a full plate; nonetheless, they found time to issue a declaration on climate change.
In at least one respect, visiting China is a little bit like traveling back in time to America in, say, 1957. (Or so I gather.) That is, people routinely smoke cigarettes in shopping malls, elevators, lines, apartment building hallways, schools, and yes, even hospitals. (Oh, and of course bars and restaurants.) Thus, the news that Beijing has just imposed a strict smoking ban in indoor public spaces in the city is a little bit surprising.
Warning against the threat from China has been a staple of national security literature since at least the late 1990s. This genre typically begins by compiling a list of the most alarming statistics related to China’s economic potential, military advancements, and global misdeeds—environmental degradation, cyberattacks, support for rogue regimes, and human rights abuses, to name a few—before informing readers that the United States must act now before it is too late.