World

Mexican Official: We Will Not Pay For Trump's Wall

| by Michael Allen
Mexican Finance Minister Luis VidegarayMexican Finance Minister Luis Videgaray

Mexico's Finance Minister Luis Videgaray said on March 2 his country will not pay for the border wall that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has often promised Mexico will finance.

"Under no circumstance will Mexico pay for the wall that Mr. Trump is proposing," Videgaray said during a TV interview, notes Reuters.

"Building a wall between Mexico and the United States is a terrible idea," Videgaray added. "It is an idea based on ignorance and has no foundation in the reality of North American integration."

Trump has called for a 1,000-mile wall to be built along the U.S.-Mexico border, which Trump compared to the Great Wall of China on March 1 during his Super Tuesday victory speech:

"The Great Wall of China, built 2,000 years ago, is 13,000 miles, folks. And they didn't have Caterpillar tractors, because I only want to use Caterpillar if you want to know the truth, or John Deere, buy a lot of equipment from John Deere, I love John Deere too.

"But they didn't have tractors, they didn't have cranes, they didn't have excavation equipment. The wall is 13,000 miles long, We need 1,000 miles and we have all the materials, we can do that so beautiful."

Arthur Waldron, an expert in Chinese history at the University of Pennsylvania, recently told Mother Jones that China's wall "didn't do what it was supposed to do, it was enormously costly, and there's no question that it caused great suffering among the people who built it."

"It was nothing at all like we have in our imaginations," Waldron added. "I think that our friend Trump is dealing with the myth and not the reality."

The Washington Post notes that the Great Wall's construction started more than 2,000 years ago as a defense measure by the Qin dynasty. More dynasties would add to the wall over the centuries, particularly the Ming dynasty, but the wall didn't stop the Mongols and Manchus from invading.

The least glamorous part of the Great Wall is the slave labor that built it. An estimated half a million people died while constructing it, some of whom may have been buried inside it.

Sources: Reuters, Mother Jones, The Washington Post / Photo credit: World Economic Forum/Flickr

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