China warns Trump about in­sults’ cost

Bei­jing asks pres­i­dent-elect not to de­stroy foun­da­tion for Sino-US co­op­er­a­tion

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By AN BAIJIE in Bei­jing and CHEN WEIHUA in Washington

The For­eign Min­istry urged US pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump on Mon­day to act pru­dently on the Tai­wan ques­tion to avoid “se­ri­ous dam­age to the Sino-US re­la­tion­ship”, after Trump once again pub­licly pro­voked China.

Bei­jing could re­act with coun­ter­mea­sures in trade and re­gional is­sues, if Trump keeps chal­leng­ing the time-tested one-China pol­icy, which is the diplo­matic cor­ner­stone of re­la­tions be­tween the world’s two big­gest economies, Chi­nese ex­perts said.

In a Fox News broad­cast on Sun­day, Trump said the United States does not nec­es­sar­ily have to stick to its long-stand­ing po­si­tion that Tai­wan is part of “one China”, chal­leng­ing the con­sen­sus that the two coun­tries have up­held for nearly four decades.

For­eign Min­istry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Mon­day that the one-China pol­icy is the po­lit­i­cal foun­da­tion of the Sino-US re­la­tion­ship, and if this foun­da­tion is bro­ken, Sino-US co­op­er­a­tion in key ar­eas would have no ba­sis.

“We urge the new US ad­min­is­tra­tion and its leader to fully un­der­stand the high sen­si­tiv­ity of the Tai­wan ques­tion,” Geng said at a reg­u­larly sched­uled news con­fer­ence. Geng said the Tai­wan ques­tion must be han­dled in a pru­dent and proper man­ner to avoid se­ri­ous dam­age to Sino-US ties.

State Coun­cilor Yang Jiechi,

We urge the new US ad­min­is­tra­tion and its leader to fully un­der­stand the high sen­si­tiv­ity of the Tai­wan ques­tion.” Geng Shuang, For­eign Min­istry spokesman

China’s top diplo­mat, met with Trump’s tran­si­tional team, in­clud­ing Lieu­tenant Gen­eral Michael T. Flynn, whom Trump has des­ig­nated as his na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser, in New York when Yang made his re­cent Latin Amer­i­can trip, Geng said. They ex­changed opin­ions on “im­por­tant is­sues that con­cerned both sides”, he said.

Trump’s com­ments came after he prompted a sharp ob­jec­tion from China over his de­ci­sion to ac­cept a tele­phone call on Dec 2 from Tai­wan leader Tsai Ing-wen. It was the first time a US pres­i­dent or pres­i­dent-elect has pub­licly spo­ken to a Tai­wan leader in nearly four decades.

Ac­cord­ing to a re­port by Sin­ga­pore-based Zaobao.com, Joseph Wu, a se­nior se­cu­rity of­fi­cial for Tai­wan, and David Lee, a se­nior diplo­mat for Tai­wan, will travel to the US amid en­hanced com­mu­ni­ca­tions be­tween the United States and the is­land.

Shi Yin­hong, a pro­fes­sor of in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions at Ren­min Uni­ver­sity of China, said that China could send a “strong re­sponse” and “at least downgrade its diplo­matic level with the US” if the Trump-led ad­min­is­tra­tion con­tin­ued to chal­lenge the one-China pol­icy.

If the US gov­ern­ment un­der Trump pro­voked China on ter­ri­to­rial

If the ba­sis of the China-US re­la­tion­ship is un­der­mined, the eco­nomic and trade co­op­er­a­tion ... will be af­fected.” Dong Chun­ling, a re­searcher on US stud­ies at the China In­sti­tutes of Con­tem­po­rary In­ter­na­tional Re­la­tions

sovereignty, the US should not ex­pect to get the co­op­er­a­tion from China on ma­jor in­ter­na­tional is­sues, he said.

China could also take a more ag­gres­sive stance re­gard­ing US nav­i­ga­tion pa­trols in the South China Sea, where it has so far re­stricted it­self to ver­bal warn­ings and re­strained ac­tions, he added.

China also has a large amount of US debt, and China is also the largest ex­port mar­ket for US agri­cul­tural prod­ucts. If Trump makes ir­ra­tional moves, China could take coun­ter­mea­sures in eco­nomic and trade ar­eas, said Li Ruogu, former chair­man of the Ex­port-Im­port Bank of China.

Li said the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment has to be pre­pared since China should not at­tach its hopes to what Trump might or might not do.

Dong Chun­ling, a re­searcher on US stud­ies at the China In­sti­tutes of Con­tem­po­rary In­ter­na­tional Re­la­tions, said that through provo­ca­tion on the Tai­wan ques­tion, Trump wants to gain more lever­age for his for­eign pol­icy after as­sum­ing the pres­i­dency next month.

“If the ba­sis of the China-US re­la­tion­ship is un­der­mined, the eco­nomic and trade co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the two coun­tries will be af­fected, which will im­pact the US econ­omy and em­ploy­ment,” he said.

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