Donald Trump labelled ‘diplomatic rookie’ by Chinese media

Donald Trump labelled ‘diplomatic rookie’ by Chinese media, by The Wall Street Journal.

The confrontation between Donald Trump and Beijing has escalated, with the ­Chinese media describing the US president-elect as a “diplomatic rookie” whose country could pay dearly for his naivety.

Mr Trump’s protocol-shattering call with Taiwan’s President and a Twitter tirade against Beijing’s policies could risk upending the delicate balance between the world’s two largest economies.

Chinese officials initially played down Mr Trump’s phone call on Saturday with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, which was arranged by Bob Dole, the former Republican senator and presidential nominee, a transition official revealed yesterday.

The call went beyond pleasantries and included a discussion about China and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.

But state-owned media turned on Mr Trump yesterday. “Provoking friction and messing up China-US relations won’t help ‘make America great again’”, said a front-page article in the Communist Party mouthpiece People’s Daily.

The nationalist Global Times newspaper ran a page-one story on Mr Trump’s “inability to keep his mouth shut”, damning his “provocation and falsehoods”.

The English-language China Daily warned that the “diplomatic rookie” needs to moderate his ­behaviour or he will create “costly troubles for his country”. “As president-elect, Trump can expect some forgiveness even when he is shooting from the hip. But things will be different when he becomes president,” the newspaper said. …

It was not a casual call:

Stephen Yates, a former national security adviser to US vice-president Dick Cheney who worked as a Mormon missionary in Taiwan, said that for at least a week Ms Tsai’s name was on Mr Trump’s list of foreign leaders he would speak to by phone.

“To my knowledge, Taiwan was on that list early, and it took some time to arrange,” said Mr Yates, who is seen as a candidate for a post on Mr Trump’s national security team. “It was a message in the sense that Donald Trump is not necessarily going to be told what he can or can’t do because a foreign leader says so. That’s exactly the kind of thing that millions of Americans detest about Washington,” said Mr Yates, who is visiting Taiwan for meetings with senior officials. “If it’s going to cause some pain, then so be it.”

hat-tip Stephen Neil