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Donald Trump is a “diplomatic rookie” who must learn not to cross Beijing on issues like trade and Taiwan, Chinese state media said Tuesday, warning America could pay dearly for his naivety.
Trump’s protocol-shattering call with Taiwan’s president and a subsequent Twitter tirade against Beijing’s policies could risk upending the delicate balance between the world’s two largest economies, major media outlets said.
“Provoking friction and messing up China-US relations won’t help ‘make America great again’”, said a front-page opinion piece in the overseas edition of Communist Party mouthpiece People’s Daily.
The nationalist Global Times newspaper’s Chinese edition also ran a page-one story on Trump’s “inability to keep his mouth shut”, damning his “provocation and falsehoods”.
Trump fired off two tweets on Sunday blasting China for devaluing its currency, taxing US imports, and building military installations in the South China Sea.
The comments followed criticism of Trump in US and Chinese media for taking a congratulatory phone call from Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, a move that flew in the face of nearly 40 years of diplomatic protocol and raised questions about whether the president-elect intends to pursue a hard line against Beijing.
Official reaction from Beijing has been muted, but China often uses state media to telegraph its policy positions, sometimes employing rhetoric beyond the diplomatic pale. (AFP)