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John Bolton: 'China is the existential threat of the 21st century'

19 June 2021, 13:28 | Updated: 19 June 2021, 13:31

By Seán Hickey

Donald Trump's former National Security Adviser believes 'the desire to stand up' to the Chinese Communist Party will grow in the aftermath of the pandemic.

John Bolton is former US Ambassador to the UN and was also National Security Adviser to President Donald Trump. Following comments made by President Joe Biden on China, he joined Matt Frei to assess what the US' position on China should be in future.

"My view is that China is the existential threat of the 21st century to the United States and the west as a whole," Mr Bolton claimed.

He pointed out that the communist regime "concealed the origins of the coronavirus and impeded international investigations" and this should lead to greater scepticism from western powers.

"The desire to stand up to their efforts will increase" he predicted, although he added that "whether actions meet a tough standard remains to be seen."

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The former adviser to President Trump warned that Xi Jinping is the "most powerful Chinese leader since Mao Zedong" and it is "about time" western nations clamp down on the rising power.

Matt looked to the lab leak theory and wondered what Mr Bolton thought: "If American intelligence is satisfied that there was a leak...what should the consequences be?" He asked.

Mr Bolton feared that the "inadequate" global response to the pandemic has opened the door to potential biological attacks from terrorists in the future and China should be held accountable for this.

"We need to get to the bottom of this, no question about it" he concluded, telling Matt that "if we're not planning for it, we're making a big mistake."