U.S. President-elect Trump is clear about China’s position on the Taiwan issue and China has maintained contacts with his team, the foreign ministry said on Monday, as Trump took to Twitter to complain about Chinese economic and military policy.
Trump’s unusual call with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen on Friday prompted a diplomatic protest on Saturday, though U.S. Vice President-elect Mike Pence played down the telephone conversation, saying it was a “courtesy” call, not intended to show a shift in U.S. policy on China.
In Beijing, foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang would not say directly who China had lodged “stern representations” with about Trump’s call, repeating a weekend statement that it had gone to the “relevant side” in the United States.
“The whole world knows about the Chinese government’s position on the Taiwan issue. I think President-elect Trump and his team are also clear,” Lu told a daily news briefing.
“The Chinese side in Beijing and Washington lodged solemn representations with the relevant side in the U.S. The world is very clear on China’s solemn position. The U.S. side, including President-elect Trump’s team, is very clear about China’s solemn position on this issue.”
Pressed on who the diplomatic protest was lodged with, Lu said: “I think it’s easy to understand ‘the relevant side’.”
“In fact, China has maintained contacts and communication with the team of President-elect Trump,” he added, repeating a previous assertion, though did not give details.
Lu also said he would not speculate on what prompted the call, but described the matter of Taiwan as the most important and sensitive question between China and the United States.
Trump, who vowed during his campaign to label China a currency manipulator, issued more tough rhetoric on Sunday.
“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.