China expresses 'serious concern' over Trump's 'one China' Taiwan remark
Beijing: China has expressed "serious concern" after US president-elect Donald Trump suggested Washington's long-held diplomatic stance of recognising Taiwan as part of "one China" could be used as a bargaining chip with Beijing.
Speaking at a regular press briefing on Monday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said any deviation from the one China policy risked jeopardising what it considered the very basis of US-China ties.
"The one-China policy is the political foundation for the healthy development of the Sino-US relationship," Mr Geng told reporters in Beijing.
"If this foundation is disturbed, there are no grounds to talk about further developing the healthy and stable relationship between China and the US."
The backlash came in response to earlier comments made by Mr Trump during an interview on Fox News, where he defended taking a recent congratulatory phone call with Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen – which had already riled the Chinese – before going further to suggest his administration's Taiwan policy could be contingent on Beijing making concessions on trade or the South China Sea.
"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," Mr Trump said. "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."
Mr Trump is the first president or president-elect to hold talks with a Taiwanese leader since Washington switched diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to the People's Republic of China in 1979. It follows the one-China principle enshrined in the Shanghai Communique agreed between Richard Nixon and Mao Zedong seven years earlier, that recognises Taiwan is part of China.
China's top diplomat Yang Jiechi, who outranks the foreign minister, met with Trump advisers on Friday, including retired Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, who has been designated national security adviser.
"Both sides exchanged views on China-US ties and important issues both are concerned with," Mr Geng said, without elaborating.
Mr Trump's recent actions have prompted a drastic shift in tone from China's state-controlled media, who had previously welcomed him as a potentially more palatable choice than the ideologically hawkish Hillary Clinton.
The nationalistic tabloid Global Times said Mr Trump was "naïve" to think he could use the one-China policy as a bargaining chip and that abandoning the decades-long principle could even force Beijing to "not prioritise peaceful reunification over a military takeover" of Taiwan.
"In response to Trump's provocations, Beijing could offer support, even military assistance to US foes," the Global Times said in an English-language editorial on Monday. "Eventually those who advocate Taiwan independence will tremble."
The story China expresses 'serious concern' over Trump's 'one China' Taiwan remark first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.