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Sunday, January 15, 2017

China slams Trump on Taiwan

China made it clear that its one-China policy is "non-negotiable" on the heels of President-elect Donald Trump hinting that he may use American policy on Taiwan as a bargaining chip between the two sides.

This is worrisome because mainland China has a lot to lose if Trump plays that game, and there is no telling what might come from it.

China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said in a statement that the "government of the People's Republic of China is the only legitimate government representing China." He added, "That is the fact acknowledged by the international community and no one can change."

The US recognized Beijing in 1979 and since then, we have only had unofficial ties with Taiwan. Beijing considers that self-governing island as part of its territory, but then again, Beijing considers islands that they are creating in the South China Sea as theirs too.

However, since becoming the President-elect, Trump has often threatened to change the status quo of the Beijing-Taiwan dyad. He went so far as to tell The Wall Street Journal on Friday that "everything is under negotiation, including 'one China.'"

He needs to tread lightly, or at least go slowly. Leaders from countries don't like being told what to do by leaders from other countries. It would be like Mexico telling Trump that Alaska is part of Canada.

When Trump spoke with Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen, the first time an American president or in this case, president-elect, had publicly spoken to Taiwan's president in nearly 40 years, it rattled China's cage.

Trump went on TV and said he didn't feel "bound by a one-China policy unless we make a deal with China having to do with other things, including trade."

And of course, Trump tweeted.

He went after China on Twitter over their military build-up and alleged currency manipulation, as well as their failure to rein in North Korea's nuclear program.

At this point in time, China, a country that appears to have designs on expanding its size and global influence, has reiterated its refusal to negotiate on Taiwan. They have run strongly worded editorials attacking Trump.

Let's hope we all use words to express our anger at each other, not hitting.