Chinese state media warn Trump of ‘revenge’ over Taiwan stance

China livid over Taiwan leader Tsai Ing-wen's meeting with senior US Republicans

Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen during a “transit stop” in Houston, Texas, where she met senior Republicans en route to Central America. Photograph: James Nielsen/Reuters

Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen during a “transit stop” in Houston, Texas, where she met senior Republicans en route to Central America. Photograph: James Nielsen/Reuters

 

The Chinese state-owned tabloid Global Times has warned Donald Trump that China will “take revenge” if the US president-elect abandons the “one-China policy” after self-ruled Taiwan’s president met senior Republicans during a controversial stopover in Houston.

Mr Trump prompted protests from Beijing after he accepted a congratulatory telephone call from Tsai Ing-wen and suggested he does not necessarily feel bound to stick to the one-China policy, where Washington has formal ties with mainland China and sees Taiwan as part of “one China”.

Under the policy, the US agrees not to recognise Taiwan as a country, but still maintains unofficial relations and has agreed to support Taiwan should China ever invade.

“The one-China policy is . . . the foundation of the profound bilateral relationship. Sticking to this principle is not a capricious request by China upon US presidents, but an obligation of US presidents to maintain China-US relations and respect the existing order of the Asia-Pacific. If Trump reneges on the one-China policy after taking office, the Chinese people will demand the government to take revenge. There is no room for bargaining,” the Global Times said in an editorial.

The tabloid comes from the stable of titles that also publishes the Communist Party’s official organ, the People’s Daily, and views expressed in the Global Times often reflect the official view on events.

China believes that Ms Tsai wants to push for the formal independence of Taiwan, where the KMT Nationalists fled after losing the civil war to the communists in 1949. China insists Taiwan is part of China and has threatened to take it back by force if necessary. These threats have become louder in recent weeks.

Ms Tsai is en route to Central America to visit Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador, four of the 22 countries that have diplomatic relations with Taiwan.

Although she did not meet Mr Trump, she did meet senior Republicans, including Texas governor Greg Abbott and senator Ted Cruz.

Mr Trump has left open the possibility of meeting Ms Tsai after his inauguration on January 20th.

Beijing had earlier asked Washington not to allow the Taiwanese leader to enter the United States and insisted she not be allowed to have any formal government meetings.

Mr Cruz said some members of Congress had received a letter from the Chinese consulate asking them not to meet with Ms Tsai during her stopovers.

Jin Canrong, vice director of the school of international studies at Renmin University, warned in a separate opinion piece in the Global Times that China was prepared to break ties with the US if Mr Trump tears up the one-China policy after taking office.

“Beijing would rather break ties with the US if necessary. We would like to see whether US voters will support their president to ruin Sino-US relations and destabilise the entire Asia-Pacific region,” Mr Jin wrote.

The rise of China’s military in recent years meant that the US military’s advantages were shrinking, he said.

“A confrontation between the two will lead to a great loss for the US. Therefore, the US will be hesitant about military confrontations against the mainland,” he wrote.

Additional reporting Reuters