US President-Elect Donald Trump has blasted Beijing’s monetary policy and its activities in the South China Sea in a Twitter outburst that will do nothing to mend fences after his controversial phone call with the leader of Taiwan.
On TV over the weekend, Vice President-Elect Mike Pence played down the significance of Trump’s conversation with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on Friday.
But Trump’s scathing comments on social media risk more confrontation with the Chinese.
“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 U.S. 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 on Twitter on Sunday.
Beijing has already lodged a formal protest at the phone call – the first since 1979 between a US president-elect or president and a leader of Taiwan which China considers a renegade province.
On the campaign trail, Trump vowed to take on Beijing as president, pledging to tackle devaluation of the yuan by slapping steep tariffs on Chinese imports.
His latest social media attack also accuses China of militarising the energy-rich South China Sea, where several countries have territorial claims and tension is high.