Former President Donald Trump has suggested painting American F-22s with the Chinese flag and “bomb[ing] the sh*t out of Russia” to start a war between China and its neighboring country.
Trump made the suggestion while giving a speech to around 250 Republican donors at the New Orleans Four Seasons on Saturday night. His comment came days after he praised Russian President Vladimir Putin for being “savvy” and “genius” for his decision to invade Ukraine.
“And then we say, China did it, we didn’t do it, China did it, and then they start fighting with each other and we sit back and watch,” Trump can be heard saying in a recording of the event that The Washington Post acquired.
Following through with Trump’s suggestion would reportedly violate Article 39(1) of Additional Protocol I to the 1949 Geneva Conventions, which states, “It is prohibited to make use in an armed conflict of the flags or military emblems, insignia or uniforms of neutral or other States not Parties to the conflict.”
“It is prohibited to make use of the flags or military emblems, insignia or uniforms of adverse Parties while engaging in attacks or in order to shield, favour, protect or impede military operations,” the article also states.
Syracuse University law professor William C. Banks told The Washington Post that Trump’s idea sounds similar to perfidy.
“A ruse like that one is perfidy and violates [international humanitarian law] and customary international law,” Banks said. “Perfidy in lay terms is treachery.”
In addition to his suggestion about painting American F-22s with the Chinese flag, Trump claimed that if he were still in office, Russia’s leader would have never invaded Ukraine.
“I knew Putin very well. He would not have done it. He would have never done it,” he said.
Trump also mentioned during his speech that he envies Kim Jong-un’s “total control” of North Korea, saying he was impressed seeing North Korean officials “cower[ing]” in front of Kim.
“His people were sitting at attention,” Trump said. “I looked at my people and said, ‘I want my people to act like that.’”