Donald Trump’s continued needling of China over the issue of Taiwan drew a sharp response from Beijing Monday, including a warning that if Trump continues his “gambit” China will have no choice but “to take off the gloves.”
That line, published in the state-owned China Daily on Monday, came in response to Trump’s suggestion Friday that the One China policy, which calls on the U.S. to recognize Taiwan as a part of China, is up for negotiation.
China’s Global Times, also state-owned, published Monday its own rebuke of the “inexperienced, complacent” Trump, who it says “speaks like a rookie.” If he continues to flout the One China policy, the editorial says, “Taiwan may be sacrificed as a result of this despicable strategy.”
Also Monday, China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said, “Not everything in the world can be bargained or traded off.” Earlier in the weekend, a seperate Foreign Ministry spokesperson called the policy the “political foundation of Sino-U.S. relations.”
“We urge the relevant side in the U.S. to recognize the high sensitivity of the Taiwan issue and abide by the pledges by successive U.S. administrations from both parties,” spokesman Lu Kang added.
Trump’s comments Friday about the One China policy are not his first. In December, he suggested that the policy could be used as a bargaining chip to bring China closer to the U.S. on trade issues. And on Sunday, incoming Chief of Staff Reince Priebus echoed the point after declaring that are no intentions to change the policy.
“But certainly that policy is on the table if China doesn’t also come to the table and work with us on trade, work with us on the South China Sea and what’s happening there,” he said on ABC’s This Week.