Trump has to respect red lines of China's core interests: State media
Disputes may be unavoidable in Sino-US relations but president-elect Donald Trump’s administration has to realise China’s sovereignty in the context of Taiwan and the South China Sea is non-negotiable, the state media has said.world Updated: Dec 19, 2016 20:40 IST
Disputes may be unavoidable in Sino-US relations but the administration of president-elect Donald Trump has to realise that China’s sovereignty in the context of Taiwan and the South China Sea is non-negotiable, the state media said on Monday.
China seems to be mostly holding its fire in the ongoing spat with the US but an official commentary made it clear that – despite Trump’s unprecedented comments and conversations – Beijing will not budge from claiming Taiwan and most of the South China Sea as its territory.
“Beijing has informed every US administration of its red line - non-negotiable as always - the integrity of its sovereignty, whether in the case of Taiwan or of its South China Sea islands,” the commentary piece by official Xinhua news agency said.
Trump has questioned the need for the “One-China” policy, talked on the phone with Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen and accused China of “stealing” the underwater drone the People’s Liberation Army Navy captured last week in the South China Sea.
The commentary indicated that Trump’s actions appeared to be aimed at rattling China. It said China understands Trump’s mentality of trying to make “deals” but even such measures will have to have a bottom line.
“If taking literally Trump's statements on his Twitter account, it seems that the billionaire is ready to deal the bilateral relations with mere mercantile mindset. He has not shied away disclosing attempts to take the one-China policy as a bargain chip, blame the renminbi (RMB) for the US mounting deficit, and accuse China of stealing a US unmanned underwater glider that served as part of the country's perennial close-up surveillance of China in South China Sea,” it said.
“But even deals require both sides to exert enough respect for each other's bottom line and prudence to not tread on it,” it added.
The commentary said: “Not to mention that diplomacy, much more weighty and complicated than doing businesses, deserves more discretion and calculation. After all, what Trump administration is going to deal with is the world's second largest economy as well as its largest trading partner.”
The article forecast that Trump will fall in place “sooner or later”, realising the significance of the ties.
“Sooner or later, the former real estate mogul will, as his predecessors have done, be aware of the strategic significance of an amicable, or at least constructive, China policy, and turn to engage with Beijing in pragmatic cooperation instead of unwanted provocation, although disputes are barely ineluctable for any economies with such highly intertwined interests,” it said.
The commentary reminded Trump of his promise to President Xi Jinping to enhance cooperation.
“It depends on Trump to make his China policy an asset rather than liability for his administration. But first, he is expected to abide by his promise to strengthen US-China cooperation for win-win results when receiving the congratulatory call from Chinese President Xi Jinping.”