China says trade and economic ties with US based on win-win cooperation, reiterates 'one China' policy

Container boxes are seen at the Yangshan Deep Water Port, in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, on Sept 24, 2016.
Container boxes are seen at the Yangshan Deep Water Port, in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, on Sept 24, 2016.PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING - China on Monday (Dec 5) said its trade and economic ties with the United States have always been based on win-win cooperation and reiterated that the "one China" principle is the key political premise for the continuation of good Sino-US ties.

Referring to the phone call  between US  President-elect Donald Trump and Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said China had lodged a complaint with the "relevant US side" in both Beijing and Washington.

“The whole world is very clear about China's stern position on this. The US, including Mr Trump's team, is fully aware of China's serious attitude,"  he  said  at a regular press briefing.

"We do not speculate on the motivations behind the talks and actions. We only comment on specific policy measures and those that are related to China," he added.

Mr Lu’s comments came after Mr  Trump  tweeted on Sunday night (Monday morning, Singapore time),  complaining  about China’s currency manipulation, tariffs on US imports  and military build-up in South China Sea.

His tweet was posted two days after he protested at criticisms over his 10-minute telephone call with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-Wen last Friday.

 

At the press briefing on Monday, Mr Lu did not comment directly  on the content of the tweet and  only merely stated that Sino-US trade and economic relations were one of “win-win cooperation”. Instead he focused on the “one China”  principle.

"The Taiwan issue has always been the most important and sensitive issue in Sino-US relations," he said.

The good development of Sino-US ties since the establishment of diplomatic ties nearly 40 years ago has been based on the adherence of the "one China" principle, he said.  "This is the political premise for the continuation of healthy Sino-US ties," he added.

The phone call between Mr Trump and Ms Tsai  was the first direct contact reported between a US president or president-elect and a leader of Taiwan since Washington established diplomatic relations with Beijing in 1979. 

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, in a measured response, said on Saturday that this was but a "petty gambit" by Taiwan, without pointedly mentioning Mr Trump.

China regards Taiwan as a renegade province, which eventually must be reunited with the mainland. 

Beijing has also been unhappy with the US for what it perceives  as  third-party interference in  a  territorial  dispute in the South China Sea.   China has vast claims in the South China Sea, which is also claimed by  the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan.

China  has  rejected  an arbitral tribunal ruling in July that denied its  claims in the disputed waters.

kohping@sph.com.sg