Is President Trump’s targeting of Iran and China justified?

NS Venkataraman

NS Venkataraman

By NS Venkataraman

CHENNAI, India, 12 January 2020

While US President Trump has taken several measures in the last few years, such as prevention of migrants entering the US, special security measures to check Muslims entering the US from Islamic countries, construction of the Mexican wall, insistence for jobs for Americans to ensure persons from other countries do not occupy jobs in the US at the cost of Americans, etc., his most important and significant measures have been to start a trade war against China and to prevent Iran from emerging as a nuclear power. Though he also has spoken strongly against the North Korean regime, he softened his stand later for whatever reasons.

President Trump’s steps against China and Iran have been strong and persistent, making several people wonder what could be the strategy and purpose behind his anti-China and anti-Iran policies.

Even Americans are confused, and opposition parties in the US have been highly critical about these approaches.

However, a discerning and independent observer can clearly read President Trump’s mindset, and would tend to think that his strategies and objectives are clear and would stand the test of time.

Obviously, President Trump thinks that the emerging dominance of China and emerging nuclear capability of Iran would pose strong threats not only to the US but also to the political stability of the entire world. It appears that President Trump thinks that if he would not act now to curb the ambitions of China and Iran, it could become too late later on. This is, perhaps, the reason and justification for his acting in a hurry.

Emerging dominance of China

China has not concealed its ambition to emerge as an economic, military, and technological super power in the world, which mean that China has to beat the US decisively, as the US presently has dominant status in the world.

China has also not concealed its expansionist policy, as it has already “successfully” occupied Tibet, a peaceful neighbouring country. China is encouraged that the world conscience has remained silent about China’s aggression and atrocities in Tibet.

By extending grants and aids and collaboration, China has already brought Pakistan under its virtual control. Many people think that politically, Pakistan is now an extended territory of China. China‚Äôs strong presence in Pakistan would ensure that Pakistan has to be necessarily obliged to China for a long time to come. Certainly, China would use Pakistan territory for strategic purposes such as importing and transporting crude oil from Middle East countries to China, and exploiting Pakistan’s mineral resources.

China has also now a strong presence in Sri Lanka, and several vital infrastructure projects in Sri Lanka such as seaport and airport are now under China’s management control.

There are other countries like Bangladesh, Mauritius, and Nepal that owe huge debts to China with no capability to repay them in the near future.

China’s OBOR project is a clear strategy to gradually enter other countries economically and technologically, and expand its influence.

With such calculated measures, China is expecting that before long, the world will come under its thumb, just as the world is now under the thumb of the US for all practical purposes.

Emerging nuclear capability of Iran

The government of Iran is committed to the Islamic religion. Many people suspect that Iran is encouraging and supporting Islamic terrorism that is already causing havoc and disturbing peace in the world.

Iran is striving its level best to develop its nuclear capability and to develop expertise in nuclear warfare. This could be a threat to world peace, as Iran may use its nuclear warfare capability to create a climate for expanding the base of the Islamic religion across the world. This would possibly be done by encouraging Islamic terrorism and threatening the world with its nuclear warfare capability. Many believe that Iran would not remain a responsible nuclear power.

President Trump’s approach

Just as US President Trump is targeting China and Iran, the fact is that China and Iran are also targeting the US.

President Trump is clearly expecting that the economic and military dominance of China and the nuclear capability of Iran would pose grave threats not only to the US but around the world.

Many countries in the world, apart from the US, do realize that a stronger China and Iran with nuclear capability could pose a threat to the stability of the world, just as Hitler and Mussolini did, leading to the Second World War. It seems that several countries, who do not have the strength and capability to challenge the emerging dominance of China and the emerging nuclear capability of Iran, expect the US to play its role in challenging China and Iran.

Perhaps this is the reason why most countries in the world are not criticizing and opposing President Trump’s move to challenge China and Iran. The silent approval of other countries with regard to the approach of President Trump is obvious and conspicuous.

About the author

NS Venkataraman is a chemical engineer as well as a social activist in Chennai, India. He is the founder trustee of Nandini Voice for the Deprived, a Chennai-based not-for-profit organisation serving the cause of the deprived and down-trodden, and working for probity in public life.

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