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The United States and China will fight a war within the next 10 years over islands in the South China Sea, and "there's no doubt about that". Those were the shocking views aired by one of the most powerful men in Donald Trump's administration just nine months ago.
Steve Bannon, the former head of right-wing news website Breitbart, is now the chief strategist at the White House.
In the same interview, Bannon said that the US will be involved in another "major" war in the Middle East.
The 63-year-old right-winger has emerged as a key part of Trump's team since his inauguration as US President, being appointed to the "principals committee" of the country's National Security Council.
Listen to the radio interview in which he made the remarks here...
"We're going to war in the South China Sea in five to 10 years," he said in March 2016. "There's no doubt about that. They're taking their sandbars and making basically stationary aircraft carriers and putting missiles on those. They come here to the United States in front of our face - and you understand how important face is - and say it's an ancient territorial sea."
China says nearly the entire South China Sea falls within its territory, however this claim is disputed by half a dozen other countries. In response to the territory dispute, China has built a series of artificial islands, complete with military-length airstrips and anti-aircraft weapons, to bolster its position.
In a number of radio shows hosted for Breitbart, Bannon states that two largest threats to America are China and Islam.
Bannon pictured (far right) as Trump signs an executive order in the White House. Credit: PA Images
"You have an expansionist Islam and you have an expansionist China. Right? They are motivated. They're arrogant. They're on the march. And they think the Judeo-Christian west is on the retreat," Bannon said during a February 2016 radio show.
Like his advisor, Trump pulled few punches when talking about China during his run for the Republican nomination and in the race for the White House, blaming them for problems with the US economy.
"Look at what China is doing to our country," said Trump in his opening statement of the first Presidential debate. "They are using our country as a piggy bank to rebuild China."
His election as President has heightened tensions between the two superpowers and China's military warned that war between the two countries was a real possibility on the day Trump was inaugurated.
Trump has urged China to use its power to rein in North Korea, which conducted two nuclear tests last year and has even claimed that climate change is "a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese."
Credit: PA Images
Trump's administration may be less than a month old, but it has already under close scrutiny from politicians and commentators alike. Including, allegedly, from inside the White House itself.
Following his inauguration as US President, a number of accounts dedicated to revealing the 'real' Donald Trump have emerged on Twitter.
@RoguePOTUSStaff claims to be 'the unofficial resistance team inside the White House' and has amassed more than 400,000 followers in just five days.
The account's users claim that they are 'risking their jobs' to make the public aware of the inner workings of Trump's administration.
Although there is no way to verify the identity of its creator, the tweets allege concerning behaviour by the President in the White House.
The account's most popular tweets address the controversial 'Muslim ban' enacted by Trump last Friday, which has sparked protests around the world.
Here are some of the tweets...
On the so-called '(un)holy trinity':
On conflict of interest:
On the wall:
There's no way of verifying whether these tweets are actually being leaked from the White House. However, if they are, then Trump is unlikely to be happy about it.
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