Obama Praises Xi Jinping, Blames Trump For Strained US-China Ties: 'The US President Didn't Seem To Care…'

Former President Barack Obama blamed his successor Donald Trump for the strained ties between the U.S. and China, on Tuesday.

What Happened: Obama also laid out a compliment for Chinese President Xi Jinping, while speaking at the Aware Theatre in Sydney, Australia, in front of a crowd of 9,000 people.

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“Externally, frankly, with my successor coming in, I think Xi (Jinping) saw an opportunity, ­because the US president didn’t seem to care that much about rules based in the international ­system,” said Obama, reported Sky News Australia.

“I think China’s attitude was, well, we can take advantage of what appears to be a vacuum internationally on a lot of these issues,” said Obama, according to the report.

Why It Matters: Obama acknowledged that the relationship between the U.S. and China was “significantly strained” and the tensions between the two nations could remain in place in coming years, according to Sky News Australia.

Obama, however, said things would not end well for China if it started to claim international water territory claimed by its neighbors, according to the report.

While Obama praised Xi’s “forceful and confident” demeanor when it came to the relationship with the U.S., he said once he left office the relationship deteriorated. 

Trump has said recently that were he to be reelected president, he would pursue the “hunting down” of Chinese spies after a ballon from the country overflew the U.S.

Read Next: Trump Probe 'Fair,' Not A 'Witch Hunt,' Think Most Americans, According To New Poll

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