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Great TV with the undiplomatic Mr Trump

If looks could kill!

Great TV with the undiplomatic Mr Trump

American politics with President Donald Trump has become a TV must watch. It sure sidelines the moronic Married at First Sight where every tiny, melodramatic  segment is replayed ad infinitum. Australian politics, by comparison, Shorten, Turnbull and Joyce, the three stooges,  is lacklustre and totally inane. When Germany’s Mother Merkel not knowing cameras were rolling asked Mr Trump, “will we shake hands” and Trump looked the other way as if she was a transmitter of dengue fever was a moment in history.

Mr Trump made the declaration on Twitter on Saturday — a day after meeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Washington — that Germany “owes vast sums of money to NATO”. Mr Trump has urged Germany and other NATO members to accelerate efforts to meet NATO’s defence spending target.

Source: Reuters

Germany rejects Donald Trump’s claims it owes NATO and US ‘vast sums’ for defence

German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen has rejected US President Donald Trump’s claim that Germany owes NATO and the United States “vast sums” of money for defence.

“There is no debt account at NATO,” Ms von der Leyen said in a statement, adding that it was wrong to link the alliance’s target for members to spend 2 per cent of their economic output on defence by 2024 solely to NATO.

“Defence spending also goes into UN peacekeeping missions, into our European missions and into our contribution to the fight against IS terrorism,” Ms von der Leyen said.

She said everyone wanted the burden to be shared fairly and for that to happen it was necessary to have a “modern security concept” that included a modern NATO but also a European defence union and investment in the United Nations.

German defence spending is set to rise by 1.4 billion euros to 38.5 billion euros in 2018 — a figure that is projected to represent 1.26 per cent of economic output, Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has said.

In 2016, Germany’s spending ratio stood at 1.18 per cent.

During her trip to Washington, Ms Merkel reiterated Germany’s commitment to the 2 per cent military spending goal. However, the visit was marked by an awkward moment in which Mr Trump refused a handshake with Ms Merkel.

Smoother sailing for Tillerson in China

Meanwhile, foreign relations were smoother for Mr Trump’s Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on his visit to China, the first by a senior member of the Trump administration.

Even a tweet from Mr Trump criticising China the night before Mr Tillerson landed in Beijing did not, at least in public, create any discord.

As Mr Tillerson wrapped up his visit on Sunday, Chinese President Xi Jinping praised his “active efforts” in making a smooth transition of the US-China relationship to the Trump era.

Mr Tillerson and the Chinese officials he met — Foreign Minister Wang Yi and State Councillor Yang Jiechi — struck a positive note, only hinting at differences in their positions.

“For setting up a new tone, it’s a good start,” said Sun Zhe, the co-director of the China Initiative of Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.

“It seems that Donald Trump’s administration is coming back to the normal track, trying to work with China to solve problems.”

No formal agreements were announced in the visit, although the two sides said they would work together on North Korea and countering its rapidly developing nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.

{ 12 comments… add one }
  • Riverine 20/03/2017, 7:59 am

    I am fed up with this ongoing criticism of D Trump. If it had been Obama they would have lauded him as a strategic player. Trump is the supreme negotiator and moves at a solid and amazingly breath taking pace. If he didn’t hear her mutter with her heavy accent, so what? The world will not stop revolving.

    • DB8tr 20/03/2017, 5:33 pm

      Good call R. Yes I gave up MSM a while back but every now and then I flick it on for some morning noise – and without any exaggeration, the general time frame for negative Trump talk or innuendo is around 5 minutes – sometimes far less.

  • Bushranger 71 20/03/2017, 8:09 am

    Focus on increasing US defense spending and insisting that other nations should do likewise will be Donald Trump’s big folly.

    German has quite rightly determined an affordable level of national defence outlay well below the unrealistic 2 percent of GDP target established by NATO; which is of course really only a proxy for the US military-industrial complex.

    In 2010, the US defense outlay was an economy wrecking 33 percent of Federal Revenue representing 4.4 percent of meaningless GDP. Heading back in that direction will only compound looming economic imbroglio.

    • Moree 20/03/2017, 8:19 am

      Actually Germany announced a couple of weeks ago that they were increasing their money to be spent on defence. Not quite to two but more than Schnauble is saying.
      They announced it after Mattis and Tillerson arrived and told them what was expected.
      Germany actually makes big money on the US presence there., and trump threatened to downsize if they didn’t chip in.

      • Bushranger71 20/03/2017, 12:36 pm

        So; is the US now resorting to gangsterism to prop up its proxy NATO for benefit of the US military-industrial complex?

        In his election campaigning, Donald Trump inferred that NATO ought to be disbanded and the scope of US military commitments worldwide are simply unsustainable.

        But since he has become brainwashed by the hawks associated with the military-industrial complex, he has committed to increased US defense spending at a time when the American economy is on the verge of collapse.

        I find it very disturbing how many contributors to this and other forums seem to blithely accept that increased military outlay for many nations is justifiable, without close scrutiny of whether money already being spent is resulting in cost-effective capabilities.

        John Howard set in train a program that has/will squander billions on platforms that are inappropriate for Australia’s regional military needs.

        Have a think about debt increase and falling revenues!

  • Lorraine 20/03/2017, 8:24 am

    Trump has made it clear, USA and he President Trump was elected as America first . He has indicated all players in the NATO must pay there fair share, USA are not picking up the bill………this is more than fair

  • Xword 20/03/2017, 9:52 am

    The truly horrid connotation that I have gleaned from the intro on this piece is some editor on MM has actually watched Married at First Sight.

    • Robert TG 20/03/2017, 10:36 am

      The show is a way to get the population to accept arranged marriages as a normal choice.

  • Margaret 20/03/2017, 12:24 pm

    I’m glad Trump didn’t shake hands with Merkel. It shows he is not a hypocrite and has not done any sneaky deals with Merkel…America first.

    I wish our politicians put Australia first instead of their own selfish career ambitions and political party.

  • Graham 20/03/2017, 3:36 pm

    Merkel obviously doesn’t know how to deal with Trump. Merkel blabs on about talking to one another, Trump just says ‘pay us what you owe’

  • Joe Blogs 20/03/2017, 3:59 pm

    Trump’s signature looks as though he uses Germanic script and writes the original family name – Drumph.

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