Beijing: In language Donald Trump will understand, Chinese state-run newspapers’ editorials said on Monday that “Beijing will have no choice but to take off the gloves” if the next US administration “uses the one-China policy as its trump card”.
Another state-run newspaper also used very American words like “rookie” to describe the US President-elect. “In the past, Trump infuriated us, but now we find him risible. With a skyrocketing ascent in his political life, he has been stunningly confident in his ostensible knowledge of the job, though he speaks like a rookie,” wrote Global Times.
Beijing sees Taiwan as part of China and ‘One China’ has been the bedrock of Sino-US relations ever since they re-established diplomatic relations 40 years ago. But US President-elect Trump has made a lot of noises about upending that policy. Late last week, Trump told The Wall Street Journal that the ‘One China’ policy was up for negotiation.
“If Trump is determined to use this gambit in taking office, a period of fierce, damaging interactions will be unavoidable, as Beijing will have no choice but to take off the gloves,” the English-language China Daily said.
Global Times said Trump “will meet strong countermeasures” if he impairs the ‘One China’ principle. These “countermeasures” include “reunification” with Taiwan – what the editorial didn’t add was the ”reunification” will be forced.”The Chinese mainland will be prompted to speed up Taiwan reunification and mercilessly combat those who advocate Taiwan’s independence,” the editorial said.
By now, Beijing doesn’t appear confident that all this Taiwan talk from Trump is just bluster. “It would be good if after his inauguration Trump can demonstrate more statesmanship. But Beijing should not count on his raising the stakes being a pre-inauguration bluff, and instead be prepared for him to continue backing this bet,” China Daily said.
The Chinese editorial acknowledged that a Sino-US clash will be “costly”, but worth it, Beijing appears to feel. “…it will prove a worthy price to pay to make the next US president aware of the special sensitivity, and serious consequences of his Taiwan game,” Global Times wrote.