Outraged China Responds To Trump’s Twitter Attacks

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Ryan Pickrell China/Asia Pacific Reporter
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China is absolutely livid over President-elect Donald Trump’s brutal Twitter comments on China’s monetary, trade, and military practices.

Trump slammed China Sunday evening for manipulating its currency, engaging in unfair trade practices, and militarizing the South China Sea.

While the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs refused to be drawn into Trump’s Twitter war, stated-sponsored newspapers blasted Trump for his comments.

Trump “threw a tantrum against China Sunday night,” wrote The Global Times, claiming he is stirring “up troubles against China before he is sworn in.”

“It appears inevitable that Sino-US ties will witness more troubles in his early time in the White House than any other predecessor.”

“Trump can make a lot of noise but that does not exempt him from the rules of the major power game. He doesn’t have sufficient resources to deal with China wantonly, the second largest economy, the biggest trading country and a nuclear power,” the paper continued.

“Trump’s reckless remarks against a major power show his lack of experience in diplomacy. He may have overestimated the power of the US.”

“China must be determined to upset his unreasonable requests at his early time in office, and fight back if his moves harm China’s interests, regardless of the consequences to the dynamics of the Sino-US relationship,” The Global Times further noted, “We must confront Trump’s provocations head-on.”

China has been the target of many of Trump’s verbal assaults prior to and after his election.

Trump has repeatedly criticized China’s currency management and trading practices, promising to label China a currency manipulator and slap high tariffs on Chinese goods early in his administration.

He has said multiple times that China is “raping” the U.S. through its questionable economic and trade policies.

The recent tweets are the first time Trump has mentioned the South China Sea since he was elected.

“We made them – we have rebuilt China yet they will go into the South China Sea and build military fortresses the likes of which the world has not seen,” Trump told the New York Times in March, “They do that at will because they have no respect for our president and they have no respect for our country.”

Trump’s attitude and comments are disconcerting to the Chinese.

“Trump’s irrational China bashing shows his ignorance of China,” the People’s Daily wrote in response to Trump’s comments on Twitter.

Many Chinese netizens have also furiously criticized Trump’s statements.

“Why should China ask you if its OK? Did the U.S. ask China if it was OK to deploy THAAD to South Korea and sell weapons to Taiwan?” one Chinese netizen asked.

The president elect’s Twitter rant comes in the wake of his historic phone conversation with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen Friday and appears to be in response to critics who argue that he should avoid angering China.

The phone call was the first time a president or president elect has spoken with a Taiwanese president since diplomatic relations were severed in 1979.

The break in several decades of diplomatic practice and protocol infuriated China, which called the phone call a “petty action.”

Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Geng Shuang urged Trump to “cautiously and properly handle Taiwan-related issues to avoid any unnecessary disturbance.”

The Global Times, a Chinese state-run tabloid, said that Trump was tricked by Taiwan.

“The fact is Taiwan made a petty gesture before Trump is sworn in, and Trump responded to it,” the tabloid asserted. “They know the only thing that can be done to the One-China policy is some marginalized tricks to serve their short-term interests.”

Others suggested the call showed a lack of experience with and understanding of foreign policy.

The call “exposed nothing but his and his transition team’s inexperience in dealing with foreign affairs,” the China Daily said. He made the “unusual action due to lack of proper understanding of Sino-US relations and cross-Straits ties.”

“He has zero diplomatic experience and is unaware of the repercussions of shaking up Sino-US relations,” The Global Times said.

The assertion that Trump lacks experience was reiterated by Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Lu Kang during a press conference Monday, where he said that China has made its position clear to Trump.

“The whole world knows about the Chinese government’s position on the Taiwan issue. I think President-elect Trump and his team are also clear,” Lu said, “The Chinese side in Beijing and Washington lodged solemn representations with the relevant side in the U.S. The world is very clear on China’s solemn position. The U.S. side, including President-elect Trump’s team, is very clear about China’s solemn position on this issue.”

The South China Sea and Taiwan are both Chinese “core interests,” and China’s currency is a sensitive issue.

Trump’s rhetoric and actions suggest that he will approach these controversial issues in a manner very different from that of his predecessor.

Many Trump supporters welcome the shift and the possibility of stronger leadership, arguing that Beijing should not be allowed to dictate the way the U.S. conducts its foreign policy and encouraging the president elect to take a tougher stance on China.

Trump has taken a hard-line stance on China. China stands accused of manipulating its currency, engaging in unfair trading practices, stealing American jobs, hacking U.S. systems and stealing defense technology and corporate intellectual property, militarizing the South China Sea and East China Sea, undercutting sanctions designed to reign in a nuclear North Korea, and generally pursuing its interests at the expense of the interests of the U.S. and its allies and partners.

Critics, however, believe that Trump’s actions could lead to conflict.

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