Friday, Trump said the “One China” policy is up for negotiation. In response, China’s foreign ministry said “One China” is the foundation of U.S-China ties and is non-negotiable.
Last month, Trump angered Beijing by taking a congratulatory phone call from Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen.
China Daily says if Trump takes this approach while in office, damaging interactions are unavoidable. Beijing will have no choice but to “take off the gloves” against Trump’s attempts to damage the “One China” principle. The mainland will have to speed up Taiwan reunification and battle against those who advocate Taiwan’s independence.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying says everyone should understand that certain things cannot be bought or traded. The One China principle is the political basis for any countries relations with China. If anyone tries to damage the One China principle, they will be combating the Chinese government.
Since Trump’s call with the Taiwanese leader, the Obama administration has repeatedly supported the U.S. commitment to the One China policy.
Monday, an Obama administration official pointed out that the Chinese used state media rather than a more formal statement. Meaning they clearly want to warn Trump against provoking them, which will end badly for everyone.
The situation may be more unstable than the president-elect realizes. Chinese President Xi Jinping is focusing more power in his hands, including command of the military. He also increasingly supports nationalism as China shifts towards a domestic consumption-based economy from an export-driven one.
Some believe Trump’s endorsement of Taiwan was just a ploy to further his administration’s short-term interests. However, China shouldn’t count on the assumption that Trump’s Taiwan move is a pre-inauguration bluff and prepare for him to continue backing his bet instead. It could be costly but will be worth the price to make Trump aware of the special sensitivity and consequences of his Taiwan game.