China To Arm US Enemies

China To Arm US Enemies

A Chinese paper has warned US President-elect Donald Trump that China might “arm” US enemies if his incoming administration did not adhere to the “one-China” policy of recognizing Taiwan as part of Chinese territory.

The Chinese-language daily Global Times said in a Monday online commentary that did not carry a by-line that the “one-China” policy was “non-negotiable.”

Taiwan is a self-ruled island that China considers its territory. The two are physically separated by the Taiwan Strait in the west Pacific Ocean. They split politically following the 1927-1950 Chinese Civil War, and there have been no formal cross-strait diplomatic relations ever since.

Washington cut official ties with Taipei in 1979 and committed to the “one-China” principle, which recognizes Taiwan as a part of China.

Trump, who has been taking calls from foreign leaders in a freewheeling style since being elected US president on November 8, first caused controversy when he talked to Taiwan’s leader, Tsai Ing-wen, earlier this month in breach of long-standing American protocol.

When asked in a Sunday Fox News interview about the call, which has angered China, Trump stood his ground.

“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,” the US president-elect said.

‘As ignorant as a child’

A businessman with no background in governance or diplomacy, Trump has in words and behavior signaled his preference for business profit over perceived political normality.

In its Monday commentary, the Chinese Global Times said, “The one-China policy cannot be traded,” and called Trump “as ignorant of diplomacy as a child.”

It said in solemn wording that if the US openly supported Taiwan’s independence from China under Trump, China could aid “forces hostile to the US.”

“Why couldn’t we publicly support them, or secretly sell arms to them?” it said, without specifying who it was referring to.

The Global Times is published under the auspices of The People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party.

Chinese state-media responses to Trump’s phone conversation with Tsai had been less harshly-worded than that of the Global Times, which has published controversial commentary before, too.

However, the Monday commentary and its strong rhetoric could be a sign of potentially high tensions between China and the incoming Trump administration. During his campaign for presidency, Trump had adopted a tough stance vis-à-vis China, particularly over trade and economic practices.