Trump Signals Policy Shifts on Russia, China

He's keeping sanctions, but maybe not for long
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 14, 2017 9:14 AM CST
Trump Will Consider Dropping Russia Sanctions
"Our companies can’t compete with them now because our currency is strong and it’s killing us," Trump said of China.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Donald Trump dropped some big hints about changes to US policy on its biggest world rivals in a Wall Street Journal interview released Friday evening. On Russia, Trump said he is planning to keep the latest American sanctions in place "at least for a period of time," but he will certainly consider dropping them when he decides the time is right. "If you get along and if Russia is really helping us, why would anybody have sanctions if somebody’s doing some really great things?" he wondered. Some US sanctions were imposed after Russia's internationally condemned annexation of Crimea in 2014, USA Today notes, but the latest ones were brought in last month as punishment for election-related hacking.

Trump, who said he is "absolutely fine" with meeting Vladimir Putin soon, took a more combative tone on China. He said everything about the US relationship with Beijing is under consideration, including the "One China" policy on Taiwan. He complained about China's currency policies, and about Beijing's reaction to his phone conversation with Taiwan's president. "We sold them $2 billion of military equipment last year. We can sell them $2 billion of the latest and greatest military equipment but we're not allowed to accept a phone call," he said. He did, however, show the Journal the Christmas card he received from China's President Xi Jinping. "I have a beautiful card from the chairman," he said. (Earlier in the week, Trump met with China's second-richest man.)

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