Trump reverses himself on NATO, China, Russia and more

US President Donald Trump and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg shake hands during a joint press conference at the White House in Washington on Thursday.

After talks with Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, the US President reiterated his call for member states to meet the alliance's two per cent of GDP defence spending target, but said he no longer considered the alliance obsolete.

The improving ties with Beijing were underscored when Mr Trump told the Wall Street Journal in an interview yesterday that he would not declare China a currency manipulator as he had pledged to do on his first day in office.

President Donald Trump took credit Wednesday for steering NATO's focus toward terrorism, declaring the military alliance is no longer outdated after castigating its focus and financing on the campaign trail past year.

That movement, a response to increased Russian military activity and aggression, began before Trump took office but the secretary-general said the new USA president backed the changing posture in Poland and NATO's Baltic states. On Wednesday, however, the President declared the worldwide alliance was "no longer obsolete", taking credit for what he said was the organization's greater focus on fighting terrorism. Moscow still wants Washington out of its backyard, but Russia's alleged campaigns to influence the USA presidential election and upcoming votes in the heart of Western Europe have made it harder for American officials to take the offer seriously.

In an interview with Fox Business Network's Maria Bartiromo, broadcast on Wednesday morning, Mr Trump talked up USA military strength, sounding nearly in awe of its prowess. Trump embraced the meeting with his European NATO partner and did not at all look uncomfortable about his sudden change of course. "We'll see how that works out".

It was accounted for Wednesday that the Trump organization won't assign China as a currency manipulator, a guarantee he had made earlier, and a stance he held against China on various circumstances.

The U.S. relationship with Russian Federation is in a deep Siberian freeze.

He said they were "replacing it with a smarter plan, a more strategic plan, a more surgical plan".

Another consideration is the waning authority of presidential adviser Steve Bannon, even beyond his disagreements with Jared Kushner, President Trump's son-in-law who also is a key adviser.

Trump's embrace of moderate positions also suggests a waning influence among the hard-line nationalist White House advisers who helped Trump win the election, as well as the rise of other advisers - many of whom hail from NY - who have more centrist, even left-leaning views. "Many have not been doing that", Trump said Wednesday. The joint press conference made headlines because Trump abandoned his stated belief that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation is "obsolete", but there were some other notable remarks.

He has support on this point from an important ally: Mr Stoltenberg.

Despite initial hopes in Moscow of better ties with Washington under Trump, the United States new president has tempered his praise of Putin, most recently condemning his support for Syria's Bashar al-Assad.

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