President Trump didn’t mince words when discussing the threat of China’s technological supremacy at a meeting with other U.S. governors at the White House on Sunday.

“I would never ever put myself in the position where I would tell you to start risking our current economy,” Mr. Trump said, according to local news reports.

Mr. Trump apparently said the same thing to Politico in December 2018, however, when they asked whether he stood by his threats to impose “economic warfare” against Beijing.

“I don’t even know what economic warfare is, so I have no idea what that is,” the president told Politico. “But, at some point, that is a good weapon against someone as bad as you can be. I would never — I mean, are you going to stop your economy from the standpoint, like, how can you say that? How do you come up with a weapon that is so far outside of — I don’t know what it is. I don’t know what it is.”

(Mr. Trump has been criticized for having been wrong about North Korea on that occasion.)

Mr. Trump’s statements about technology came after he and his advisers warned that China is trying to break into technology industries in the United States by hacking companies and stealing trade secrets. The U.S. has had uneasy relations with China for decades but the fight over trade and technology was tipped over the edge last fall when the Trump administration announced its tariffs on China.

Since Mr. Trump’s speech on Sunday, China has not yet responded in any detail. China has always denied the existence of such a threat.

Read the full story at The New York Times.


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