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Trump's inaugural speech spurs worry

By An Baijie | China Daily | Updated: 2017-01-23 07:34

Trump's inaugural speech spurs worry

US President Donald Trump delivers his inaugural address after being sworn in as the 45th president of the United States during the 58th Presidential Inauguration at the US Capitol in Washington, Jan 20, 2017.[Photo/IC]

'America first' pledge causes uncertainty around the globe

The "America first" pledge made by Donald Trump in his inaugural address on Friday has created uncertainty in many countries over what that will actually mean in terms of US policies.

Although Trump did not directly challenge China in the speech-as he had done in the past month-Beijing should still prepare for possible trade frictions with Washington, experts said.

In his 16-minute address, Trump vowed to make "every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs" to benefit United States citizens. He pledged to end what he has called wrongheaded efforts to help other nations at the expense of US interests.

"For many decades, we've enriched foreign industry at the expense of American industry; subsidized the armies of other countries while allowing the very sad depletion of our military. We've defended other nations' borders while refusing to defend our own, and spent trillions of dollars overseas while America's infrastructure has fallen into disrepair and decay," he said.

Trump's speech, featuring what many analysts called his usual protectionist rhetoric, is considered among the factors leading to worries and protests in many countries.

Calling the inauguration speech "hostile", former Belgian prime minister Guy Verhofstadt wrote on Twitter: "We can't sit around & hope for US support & cooperation. Europe must take its destiny & security in its own hands."

The Washington Post reported that in London, hundreds chanted slogans such as "dump Trump" outside the US embassy. In Mexico City, residents on social networks debated just how bad the new era might be. The Post's report's headline was "After Trump pledges 'America first,' the world responds with protests and dismay".

According to a BBC report, millions in the US and around the world protested against Trump's new administration on Saturday. The largest US rally was in Washington, where city officials estimated that crowd to number more than 500,000, the report said.

China's Foreign Ministry had not responded to Trump's speech as of press time Sunday.

At a regular news conference held shortly before Trump's inauguration on Friday, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said China will continue to stick to the principles of nonconflict, nonconfrontation, mutual respect and cooperation for win-win results to develop ties with the new US government.

"Since the establishment of Sino-US ties, there have been ups and downs in the bilateral relationship, but it kept moving forward," she said.

Jin Yong, a professor of international relations at the Communication University of China, said Beijing should prepare for challenges to the one-China policy and in trade issues given that Trump emphasized those issues in this statement.

Ruan Zongze, vice-president of the China Institute of International Studies, said Trump's taking office may be a major event that is unexpected for international relations.

"Trump could change the image of the United States, and we may see an America that will say 'no' more frequently," he said.

He added that the whole world, including many traditional allies of the US, are worried about the uncertainties presented by Trump taking power.

"Fasten your seat belts. This is the only choice for the world when facing a changing America," he said.

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