China today said it "lodged a stern protest" to US President-elect Donald Tump over his telephone call to Taiwanese leader but declined to comment on his tweets over currency devaluation by Beijing and construction of "massive military complex" in the disputed South China Sea.
China today said it “lodged a stern protest” to US President-elect Donald Tump over his telephone call to Taiwanese leader but declined to comment on his tweets over currency devaluation by Beijing and construction of “massive military complex” in the disputed South China Sea. “The Chinese side in Beijing and Washington lodged solemn representations with the relevant side in the US. The world is very clear on China’s solemn position” on Taiwan, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told reporters here today.
“The US side, including President-elect Trump’s team, is very clear about China’s solemn position on this issue,” he said.
Asked whether China has lodged diplomatic protest with Trump directly, he said, “I think it’s easy to understand ‘the relevant side’.” “In fact, China has maintained contacts and communication with the team of President-elect Trump,” he said.
Answering a spate of question, Lu said he would not speculate on what prompted the call, but termed the issue of Taiwan, which China claims as part of its mainland, as the most important and sensitive question between Beijing and Washington.
China is peeved as this is the first time a US President-elect has directly spoken to Taiwanese President as Washington follows the One-China policy though it maintains military and political contacts with the breakaway province.
Lu, however, was very cautious and guarded in getting drawn into the twitter fight with Trump over his latest tweets hitting out at Beijing accusing it of currency manipulation and building big military complex in the disputed SCS.
“Did China ask us if it was OK to devalue their currency (making it hard for our companies to compete), heavily tax our products going into their country (the US doesn’t tax them) or to build a massive military complex in the middle of the South China Sea? I don’t think so!, Trump said in a series of tweets, criticising China for the first time over the currency manipulation and South China Sea (SCS) dispute.
Besides China, which claims almost all of SCS, Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei and Taiwan have counter claims over the area.
“The China-US economic and trade relationship has over many years always been a highly mutually beneficial one, otherwise it couldn’t have developed the way it has today,” Lu said, referring to US-China annual trade.
“We have no comment on what motivated Trump team to make such tweets. But we need to make our position and attitude very clear,” Lu said.
“China and the US maintaining good relations, a steadily developing relationship, accords with the joint interests of both peoples,” he said.
Soon after Trump’s victory, China was initially positive towards him as he announced that US will withdraw from Trans Pacific Partnership treaty which excluded Beijing.