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Disorder in Trump administration persists

China Daily | Updated: 2017-12-04 07:45

ON FRIDAY, US President Donald Trump dismissed reports that he is considering replacing Rex Tillerson as the secretary of state. Beijing Youth Daily commented on Saturday:

The speculation surrounding Tillerson's future as secretary of state and his disagreement with Trump are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the US president's struggles to keep everything together 10 months into his presidency. That could hurt the country's image as a reliable world power and undermine its interests overseas.

Tillerson, the former ExxonMobil chief executive, was chosen to lead the state department for his expertise in "energy diplomacy". He has tried to keep his head down when he disagreed with Trump but he has still been openly confronted by the US president.

While Tillerson was in China looking for a diplomatic solution to the nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula, Trump said that he was "wasting his time". The US president has also been an outspoken critic of efforts by Tillerson to salvage the Iran nuclear deal.

The tensions seem to have reached a point where they are beginning to part ways. In a recent Washington speech, Tillerson lambasted Russia while extolling the US-Europe bond, despite Trump being keen to prevent the US' relations with Russia from further deteriorating.

Trump's public endorsement of Saudi Arabia amid the diplomatic crisis between Gulf nations has displeased Qatar, also a US ally, fueling confusion about Washington's Middle East policy and leaving Tillerson's state department in an awkward position. Also baffling is the Trump's about-face after a fruitful state visit to China last month. He relisted the Democratic People's Republic of Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism and officially denied China's market economy status.

The eventful Trump presidency is a mirror of his lack of diplomatic experience and failure to see the bigger picture in a global perspective. Displaying his political and diplomatic views on Twitter weakens his stance as does his preference for a coterie of family members and confidants.

It is sad but true that the world may have to wait longer for the disorder to end.

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