Former US security adviser: Norway should not sign a free trade agreement with China

FOTO: PETER NICHOLLS / REUTERS

Former US security adviser John Bolton believes that China is a danger to democratic countries and in an exclusive interview with NRK, he warns Norway against entering into a closer trade relationship with the communist regime in Beijing.

John Bolton was Trump’s security adviser for a year and a half, from April 2018 until he resigned in September 2019. In retrospect, he has very few good things to say about his former boss and in his interview with NRK, he talks about how unsuitable Trump was as president while he also warns Norway and the West against China, which he says poses an existential threat to Western democracies.

“Both militarily, politically, economically, and socially, China is now an existential threat to Western democracies. China is no longer a communist country, but it is an authoritarian country. Which poses a threat to the whole spectrum of our interests,” John Bolton says and notes that if the United States and Europe can work together, it could have a decisive impact on the outcome.

Through its membership in the World Trade Organization WTO, China has gained great benefits and can export its goods all over the world. But the Chinese make it much more difficult for other countries to sell their goods to China. “They have systematically stolen inventions and intellectual property from the United States, Europe, Japan, and other countries. And they discriminate against foreign companies trying to do business in China,” John Bolton says. “I believe that an overall reaction from the democratic industrial nations could have a dramatic effect on the Chinese authorities,” he adds.

John Bolton says that Norway for many years has wanted a free trade agreement with China but that “Norway should say no.” He explains that gradually, several countries have signed free trade agreements with China including Australia. Nevertheless, the country has been severely punished by China’s leaders after the Australians demanded a thorough international investigation into how the covid virus originated and spread in China. Despite the free trade agreement, the Chinese authorities are now preventing a large number of Australian goods from reaching the markets in China.

John Bolton has a clear appeal to the Norwegian authorities, “As the situation is now, Norway should not sign a free trade agreement with China. China does not practice free trade. Rather talk to friends and allies and think more about what you can do together,” John Bolton says.

Mette Larsen

About Mette Larsen

ScandAsia Journalist • Scandinavian Publishing Co., Ltd. • Thailand

View all posts by Mette Larsen