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Interview

John Bolton says Trump botched handling of Hong Kong

Lack of coordination on China policy gave Xi Jinping 'free hand'

John Bolton told Nikkei that if reelected, President Donald Trump may cut defense spending and compromise with China.   © Reuters

WASHINGTON -- The Trump administration did not have a coordinated, coherent China policy, which ultimately may have given Chinese President Xi Jinping an opening to advance on Hong Kong, former U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton told Nikkei in an interview Tuesday.

Bolton, who released last month his tell-all book "The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir," described President Donald Trump's decision-making as heavily driven by domestic political motivations and said that if Trump is reelected and the political "guardrail" is gone, he may compromise with China to secure a "big trade deal."

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