Bannon on 60 Minutes: ‘China Is at Economic War with Us’

Steve Bannon, executive chairman of Breitbart News, speaks with CBS News' Charlie Rose for a 60 Minutes interview in the "Breitbart Embassy" in Washington, DC, September 6, 2017.
Dan Fleuette

Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon told 60 Minutes that President Donald Trump—unlike America’s elites—understands that “China is at economic war with us.”

Bannon told CBS anchor Charlie Rose that Trump for 30 years has “singled out China as the biggest single problem we have on the world stage.”

“The elites in this country have got us in a situation–we’re not at economic war with China, China is at economic war with us,” he said.

Bannon said, for starters, he wants China “to stop appropriating our technology.”

“China is, through forced technology transfer and through stealing our technology, …  cutting out the beating heart of American innovation,” Bannon said.

Bannon expressed similar sentiments to American Prospect editor Robert Kuttner, whom he called because he agreed with some of the things Kuttner has written on China.

“We’re at economic war with China,” he told Kuttner. “It’s in all their literature. They’re not shy about saying what they’re doing. One of us is going to be a hegemon in 25 or 30 years and it’s gonna be them if we go down this path.”

Bannon told Kuttner that to him, “the economic war with China is everything. And we have to be maniacally focused on that. If we continue to lose it, we’re five years away, I think, ten years at the most, of hitting an inflection point from which we’ll never be able to recover.”

Bannon will deliver his tough-on-China message directly in Asia this week when he speaks at an investor conference in Hong Kong.

Bannon, according to a New York Times report, will “travel to Hong Kong to deliver a keynote address at an investor conference, where he will articulate his call for a much tougher American policy toward China.” The outlet noted that “CLSA, the Hong Kong brokerage firm that invited Mr. Bannon, is owned by a politically connected Chinese investment bank, Citic Securities.”

Bannon told the Times that “a hundred years from now, this is what they’ll remember — what we did to confront China on its rise to world domination.”

“China right now is Germany in 1930,” Bannon said. “It’s on the cusp. It could go one way or the other.”


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