BEIJING - China said on Monday (Dec 12) that it was "extremely concerned" about United States president-elect Donald Trump's remarks questioning whether there is a need for the US to adhere to its longstanding policy that Taiwan is part of "one China".
The "one China" principle forms the political basis for Sino-US ties , said China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang at a regular press briefing on Monday (Dec 12).
He added that if the basis is disrupted, or destroyed, the healthy development of Sino-US ties and bilateral cooperation in major areas would be "out of question".
"We urge the new US government and leader to fully recognise the highly sensitive nature of the Taiwan issue...and handle the
Taiwan issue with care and consideration, to prevent the big picture of Sino-US ties from being seriously disrupted or damaged," said Mr Geng.
Mr Geng's comments were in response to Mr Trump's television interview on Sunday, saying that he did not know why the United States has "to be bound by a 'one China' policy" unless it makes "a deal with China having to do with other things, including trade".
Mr Trump complained about the US being "hurt very badly by China with devaluation", China's high tariffs on US goods, and the militarisation of the South China Sea.
He also blamed China for not helping the US with reining in North Korea on its nuclear weapons.
"They're not helping us at all. So, I don't want China dictating to me," said Mr Trump, referring to the phone call that he took from Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen on Dec 2.
Mr Trump's phone conversation with Ms Tsai marked the first direct contact between leaders of both sides since Washington cut diplomatic ties with Taipei in 1979 to re-establish formal relations with Beijing.
The episode prompted Beijing to lodge a protest with the US but it was largely restrained in the face of further anti-China outburst by Mr Trump.
The nationalistic Global Times, on Monday (Dec 12), lashed out at Mr Trump in an editorial, both in its Chinese and English edition, warning him that "the 'one China' policy is not for selling".
"Trump thinks that everything can be valued and, as long as his leverage is strong enough, he can sell or buy. If a price can be put on the US Constitution, will the American people sell their country's Constitution and implement the political systems of Saudi Arabia or Singapore?" said the tabloid, which is linked to the Chinese Communist Party.
It further warned that if Mr Trump gave up the "one China" policy, Beijing could offer support or military assistance to US foes in response.
On the issue of Taiwan, the newspaper added that China "may not prioritise peaceful reunification over a military takeover if Trump insisted on his provocations."
Beijing regards Taiwan as a renegade province, which eventually must be reunited with the mainland.