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Saturday, December 17, 2016

Don't let China ties slide into 'full conflict mode', Obama urges Trump | US news | The Guardian

"The past two weeks have seen Trump take a series of public swipes at China, accusing Beijing of manipulating its currency, building “a massive fortress” in the South China Sea and not doing enough to pressure Kim Jong-un’s North Korea.

Most controversially of all, the billionaire has also hinted he might upend nearly four decades of US-China ties by offering greater recognition to the government of Taiwan, a self-ruled island that Beijing views as a breakaway province.

Trump’s questioning of the so-called “One China” principle move drew protests from Beijing and led one state-run newspaper to call for swift preparations for a military invasion of the democratically governed island.

On Friday, Obama said Trump needed to grasp “that for China the issue of Taiwan is as important as anything on their docket”.

“The idea of ‘One China’ is at the heart of their conception as a nation and so if you are going to upend this understanding, you have to have thought through what are the consequences.”

“Because the Chinese will not treat that the way they will treat some other issues. They won’t even treat it the way they treat issues around the South China Sea, where we have had a lot of tensions. This goes to the core of how they see themselves and their reaction on this issue could end up being very significant.”

Obama said the importance of US-China collaboration in areas such as the global economy, security and international affairs was now such that “there is probably no bilateral relationship that carries more significance”.

“And where there is also the potential – if that relationship breaks down or goes into a full conflict mode – that everybody is worse off,” the outgoing president added."

Don't let China ties slide into 'full conflict mode', Obama urges Trump | US news | The Guardian

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