China, a military and economic superpower known to keep negotiations and other talks close to its chest, has reportedly had it with President-elect Donald Trump’s lashings on Twitter, The New York Times reported Wednesday.
The nation’s state-run media agency, Xinhua, published a commentary under the headline “An obsession with ‘Twitter foreign policy’ is undesirable” after Trump questioned China’s effort and work Monday in curtailing Kim Jong Un and North Korea’s reported plan to test its first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
The barb wasn’t the first – see Trump’s tweets on the U.S. military drone seized by China in December and many others messages – and it’s unlikely to be the last. Trump reportedly has no plans to stop tweeting in the build up to his Jan. 20 inauguration and likely well into his first term.
Donald J. Trump (via Twitter): “China has been taking out massive amounts of money & wealth from the U.S. in totally one-sided trade, but won’t help with North Korea. Nice!”
Another translation of the Xinhua headline, according to South China Morning Post, read: “Addition to Twitter diplomacy is unwise.” And Xinhua also called out Trump’s defamation of the United Nations while its Security Council tried to broker a resolution on settlements in Israel.
“[Trump] said something like ‘the UN is just a club for people to have a good time’. These tweets have broken decades-old diplomatic protocols held by the US, including some anti-China comments,” the article read. “Diplomacy is not child’s play and you can’t run it like a business.”
The Times said Xinhua’s commentary was a way of essentially telling Trump to “shut up,” while saying China prefers to conduct foreign policy like it always has, in private meetings or through back channels to ensure each party keeps face.
“Twitter shouldn’t become an instrument of foreign policy,” the commentary read.
The article’s focus and overall statements differed in tone from Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang’s response to Trump’s tweet Tuesday. Geng pointed to China bringing six countries together for talks over how to convince Kim of ending his nuclear program and how its agreed for more sanctions on North Korea, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Geng said Trump’s accusations against China’s economic policies are best to be “properly addressed through dialogue and consultation” but did not cite Trump’s tweet.
“We don’t pay attention to the features of foreign leaders’ behavior. We focus more on their policies,” Geng said.