Trump’s State of the Union calls for unity, critics doubt his commitment

World Today

APTOPIX State Of Union President Donald Trump delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

U.S. President Donald Trump’s speech to a joint session of Congress was intended to highlight the ‘State of the Union.’ Instead, it tended to highlight the ‘State of Division’ within the country. Trump laid out his vision for a ‘new American moment,’ which included a glimpse of his foreign policy agenda.

CGTN’s Sean Callebs has more.

After one of the most politically polarizing years in American history, the man many view as the “Divider-in-Chief” used his State of the Union to say that now is the time to come together.

“I am extending an open hand to work with members of both parties, Democrats and Republicans, to protect our citizens of every background, color, religion, and creed,” President Donald Trump said.

Many described Trump as presidential, glued to the teleprompter. Democrats, however, remained focused on the way his administration has handled immigration and race relations, plus his caustic tone on Twitter. The party is not in a forgiving mood.

“I was deeply disappointed that he spent a tremendous amount of time, again – with empty promises – with pandering, and frankly giving a pretty hateful and divisive speech,” Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said.

Trump mentioned China by name only once, but alluded to the nation a few times.

“The era of economic surrender is over. From now on, we expect trading relationships to be fair, and to be reciprocal.”

Trade between China and the U.S. comes to around $654 billion, with the U.S. having a $300 billion deficit. Trump says he and Chinese President Xinping have forged a friendship, but whereas former U.S. President Barack Obama called China a “strategic partner,” Trump is now only referring to China as a “rival.”

“It has been prove by both history and reality that cooperation is the only correct choice for China and the U.S. to lead to a better future,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said in response. “We hope the U.S. abandons the Cold War mentality and zero-sum game to correctly view China-U.S. relations.”

Trump saved his harshest criticism for the DPRK. He called DPRK leader Kim Jong-un an oppressive and cruel dictator, and in a move that will do nothing to ease tension on the Korean Peninsula, Trump said Pyongyang is reckless in its pursuit of nuclear weapons that could soon threaten the U.S. homeland.

Trump is calling for a steep increase in the U.S. military budget.