Still seeking top diplomat, Trump taunts China

Trump will have "a very full slate of meetings" on Monday as he looks to finalise key cabinet positions, senior aide Kellyanne Conway said Sunday.

Still seeking top diplomat, Trump taunts China

World Bulletin / News Desk

President-elect Donald Trump has fired off another Twitter broadside, attacking China over alleged currency manipulation and foreign policy, as the world waits to see who he will pick for the vital role of secretary of state.

America's friends and foes alike are keenly awaiting Trump's choice for the top diplomat role, hopeful that it will offer clues to the direction US policy will take after he is sworn in on January 20.

Based on Trump's Twitter activity on Sunday, relations with America's top trading partner may be headed for a downturn, with the businessman-turned-politician accusing Beijing of expansionism and of fiddling the exchange rate.

"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?" he demanded, adding: "I don't think so!"

The taunt came two days after Trump provoked a rebuke from China by accepting a call from the president of Taiwan -- the first such call in around four decades.

China regards self-ruling Taiwan as part of its own territory awaiting reunification, and any US move implying support for independence is gravely offensive to Beijing.

Washington does not formally recognise Taipei, and officially cleaves to a "One China" policy that says Beijing is the legitimate government.

In practice, the island enjoys many of the trappings of a full diplomatic relationship with the US.

Trump's incoming vice president, Mike Pence, played down the call's significance, describing it as a courtesy, and said any new policy on China would be decided after his inauguration.

However, The Washington Post reported Sunday that the call had been in the works for weeks, intended to signal a major shift in US policies toward Taiwan and China. The article cited people involved in planning the call.

Last Mod: 05 Aralık 2016, 09:57
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