China had some fiery criticisms against President Donald Trump’s missile strike on Syria, although it first waited for Chinese President Xi to leave the U.S. before it delivered its statements.
Calling Trump “a weakened politician who needed to flex his muscles,” China’s state-run news agency Xinhua mocked Trump over the strike on a Syrian air base.
Trump ordered the firing of 59 cruise missiles at a military target in Syria on Friday, just as President Xi was in Florida for a 2-day meeting with Trump at his Mar-a-Lago estate. During the meeting, Trump declared that the two leaders “made tremendous progress.”
“I just want to say that President Xi and all of his representatives have been really interesting to be with,” Trump was quoted as saying. “I believe lots of very potentially bad problems will be going away.”
According to the New York Times, Xinhua said Trump ordered the strike to allegedly “distance himself from Syria’s backers in Moscow, to overcome accusations that he was ‘pro-Russia.’”
“It has been a typical tactic of the U.S. to send a strong political message by attacking other countries using advanced warplanes and cruise missiles,” the article reportedly said.
Other Chinese analysts who were also reportedly against the strike say they perceive it to be an act of one powerful country attacking a defenseless nation. Observers view the military action as “an unspoken American message” to equate Syria with North Korea, which they generally dismiss.
Fudan University professor of international relations Shen Dingli pointed out that Trump would not have ordered an attack on Syria if it had nuclear weapons like North Korea.
“Chemical weapons and nuclear weapons are totally different,” Shen was quoted as saying. “A chemical bomb kills dozens of people, and the atomic bomb at Hiroshima killed hundreds of thousands.”