President-elect Donald Trump has stressed that China will not set the rules for his administration.
Since the president-elect broke with decades of diplomatic protocol and accepted a phone call from Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen last Friday, Trump and China have been trading shots. During an interview with Fox News Sunday morning, Trump criticized China’s policies and practices and again defended his unprecedented phone conversation with the Taiwanese president.
“We’re being hurt very badly by China with devaluation, with taxing us heavy at the borders 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, and frankly with not helping us at all with North Korea,” Trump explained.
Trump attacked China Thursday for massive intellectual property theft, unfairly taxing American companies, not helping to address the “menace of North Korea,” the at-will and massive devaluation of currency, and unlawful product dumping.
He said that China is going to start “playing by the rules.” Trump made many similar complaints on the campaign trail.
Speaking Sunday about the phone conversation with the Taiwanese president, he said that it would have been “disrespectful” to not take the call, which Trump said was “nice.”
China referred to the call as a “petty action” this past Monday and demanded that the U.S. continue to adhere to the “one China” policy.
“It must be stated that, there is only one China and Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory, and the government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legitimate government that represents China. Those are all facts recognized by the international community,” explained Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Geng Shuang.
“Make no mistake about it: Taiwan stands on top of China’s menu of core national interests, and is not negotiable,” the China Daily argued Friday. “If [Trump] is misled by his advisors for whatever reason into believing that unnegotiables are negotiable, in this case the one China principle regarding Taiwan, the consequences could be serious.”
Trump sees no reason why China should be given the authority to set the rules of the game.
“I don’t want China dictating to me,” he said. “Why should some other nation be able to say I can’t take a call?”
Trump also indicated that the call was not a diplomatic blunder, but was, in fact, a calculated move.
“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.
Trump tweeted last Sunday, “Did China ask us if it was OK to devalue their currency (making it hard for our companies to compete), heavily tax our products going into their country (the U.S. doesn’t tax them) or to build a massive military complex in the middle of the South China Sea? I don’t think so!”
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