Chinese state media says ‘inexperienced Trump subject to hawkish advisers’ regarding Beijing
On Monday, the Global Times wrote an editorial in response to the US president-elect’s latest remarks, which questioned the idea of China’s dominion over Taiwan. Acceptance of the ‘One China’ policy has long been a prerequisite for good relations with Beijing, but Trump on Sunday took issue with its logic for US-Chinese relations.
“I fully understand the 'One China' policy, but I don't know why we have to be bound by a 'One China' policy unless we make a deal with China having to do with other things, including trade,” Trump said in a conversation on trade relations with Fox News on Sunday.
However, while this may concern trade, that’s not the reason China is so angry. All of this comes back to the congratulatory phone call between Trump and new Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, whose office China does not recognize. To make matters worse, Tsai is also vehemently opposed to a unified China, and has been speaking in favor of Taiwanese independence.
The Global Times was again fuming on Monday. Writing that the Western media believe that Trump would use the ‘One China’ policy to force a trade compromise on China, the newspaper continued: “It seems that such an analysis is credible.”
“The One China policy is not for selling. Trump thinks that everything can be valued and, as long as his leverage is strong enough, he can sell or buy. If a price can be put on the US Constitution, will the American people sell their country's constitution and implement the political systems of Saudi Arabia or Singapore?”
The authors continued to try to teach Trump about being more modest, and then called for an all-out show of force against the leader-in-waiting – by China and other players alike – because “a hard struggle against Trump is needed to let him know that China and others world powers cannot be easily taken advantage of.”
The authors also claim the One China policy to be a source of prosperity for Taiwan, and if Trump were to continue with his provocations, a set of new laws governing Taiwan would not necessarily prioritize good trade relations.
Ultimately, If Trump gave up the One China policy, publicly supported Taiwan independence and wantonly sold weapons to Taiwan, China would have no grounds to partner with Washington on international affairs and contain forces hostile to the US,” the Global Times wrote.
“In response to Trump's provocations, Beijing could offer support, even military assistance to US foes.”
While warning Trump that his games may one day go too far even for Tsai – whom the paper called a “pawn” of his politics – the authors add: “it's very likely that Trump may not have put too much thought into it. He is no geopolitical maniac, but just has little experience in diplomacy. He doesn't understand how dangerous it can be when he involves the US in such an explosive game. After all, this requires some personal experience.”
Without said experience, they write, Trump is “easily subject to the hawkish advisers around him.”
The Times’ rhetoric was emphasized again Monday by Beijing, whose Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuan told a news briefing that Beijing exhibits “serious concern” over his remarks.
Cooperation with the US is “out of the question” if Washington does not continue to recognize Chinese interests in Taiwan, he said.
“China has noted the report and expresses serious concern about it. I want to stress that the Taiwan issue concerns China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and involves China's core interests,” he added.
“Upholding the 'One China' principle is the political basis for developing China-US ties. If this basis is interfered with or damaged then the healthy development of China-US relations and bilateral cooperation in important areas is out of the question.”
All of this is not to say Trump’s entire political platform did not already rest on taking a tougher stance on China and other partners, particularly with regard to trade. He continued the ‘One China’ comment by saying, “We’re being hurt very badly by China with devaluation, with taxing us heavy at the border when we don’t tax them, with building a massive fortress in the middle of the South China Sea, which they shouldn’t be doing.”
Trump added that he’s not satisfied with Beijing’s cooperation on North Korea either.
“China could solve that problem, and they’re not helping us at all.”
The president-elect also continued to be baffled by China dictating to the US whom it can accept calls from.
“And this was a call put in to me. I didn’t make the call… And why should some other nation be able to say, I can’t take a call? I think it would have been very disrespectful, to be honest with you, not taking it.”
Trump denied there was any prior political scheming to do with the call, and insists he had only learned about it an hour or two in advance.