- Joe Raedle/Getty Images
- According to a new book, former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon told former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes that “China is where Nazi Germany was in 1929 to 1930.”
- Bannon said Trump’s approach to China was a critical piece of his presidency.
- Bannon has long been critical of China, but praised the country’s economic system in a speech after he left the White House.
Steve Bannon, the former White House chief strategist under President Donald Trump, compared China to Nazi Germany, a new book claims.
According to an excerpt in New York magazine from journalist Michael Wolff’s new book on the Trump campaign and early White House, Bannon told former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes that China was in danger of taking the same turn as Nazi Germany.
“China’s everything. Nothing else matters. We don’t get China right, we don’t get anything right. This whole thing is very simple. China is where Nazi Germany was in 1929 to 1930,” Bannon reportedly told Ailes during a phone call after Trump’s election, according to the book, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.”
In Bannon’s eyes, China was primed to take a strongly nationalistic turn similar to the one taken by Germany in the years leading up to World War II. That made the strong-arm trade policies Bannon favored toward China necessary to combat the country, according to Wolff.
“The Chinese, like the Germans, are the most rational people in the world, until they’re not,” Bannon told Ailes. “And they’re gonna flip like Germany in the ’30s. You’re going to have a hypernationalist state, and once that happens, you can’t put the genie back in the bottle.”
Ailes, the late Fox News chief forced out over sexual harassment allegations, appeared to be pessimistic about Trump’s ability to keep a good relationship with the growing power. “Donald might not be Nixon in China,” Ailes reportedly said, referencing President Richard Nixon’s famous 1972 trip to China to reset relations despite the president’s anti-communist views.
Bannon has long been critical of China, helping to shape Trump’s strong anti-China rhetoric during the campaign.
But, after leaving the administration Bannon gave his first major speech to a group of investors in Hong Kong. During the speech, Bannon appeared much more amenable to the country’s policies saying the “way of running their economic system is quite brilliant.”