It seems that China isn’t the only one who isn’t a fan of US President-elect Donald Trump’s unconventional cross-strait policy, yesterday French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said that his proposal to use Taiwan as a bargaining chip in trade negotiations with Beijing is “not necessarily very clever.”
When asked on TV channel France 2 on Wednesday about Trump’s protocol-shattering phone call with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and his subsequent China-bashing and questioning of the “one China” policy, Ayrault had the following advice for the next leader of the free world:
Beware of China. It is a great country. There may be disagreements with China, but we do not talk like that to a partner. We must avoid getting into a spiral where things are out of control.
When China feels challenged on its unity, that is not necessarily very clever. We will have to be very careful, but we can hope as the days go by the new American team has learned enough to manage an uncertain work with more coolness and responsibility.
Yes, we can hope.
On Sunday, Trump rejected criticism of his phone conversation with Tsai, going so far as to wonder why the US needs to observe the “one-China” policy in the first place.
“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.
He went on to accuse China of devaluing their currency to hurt American manufacturers, keeping their tariffs too high on American goods, building a “massive fortress in the middle of the South China Sea,” and not doing enough to help solve the nuclear missile crisis in North Korea.
“I don’t want China dictating to me and this was a call put in to me. I didn’t make the call, and it was a call, very short call saying congratulations, sir, on the victory,” Trump said. “And why should some other nation be able to say I can’t take a call? I think it actually would’ve been very disrespectful, to be honest with you, not taking it.”
In response, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said that the “one China” policy was the “political foundation” of any US-China ties, and warned that China was “seriously concerned” over Trump’s latest explosive comments, which could “badly affect” the relationship between the two countries.
“Upholding the ‘one China’ principle is the political basis for developing China-US ties. If this basis is interfered with or damaged, then the healthy development of China-US relations and bilateral cooperation in important areas is out of the question,” Geng said.
At the same time, the nationalistic Party tabloid, the Global Times, published an editorial, calling Trump “as ignorant as a child” when it came to foreign policy, and warned that if the new president pulled away from the “one China” policy, then China could “offer support, even military assistance to US foes.”
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi also chimed in, saying that anyone who tried to harm China’s core interests would be “smashing their own foot while trying to lift a stone.”
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