Donald Trump is doubling down on China

Photo: Jedd Kowalsky/ AFP/ Getty Images.

US president-elect Donald Trump is doubling down on China.

He tweeted today: “Did China ask us if it was OK to devalue their currency (making it hard for our companies to compete), heavily tax our products going into.. their country (the U.S. doesn’t tax them) or to build a massive military complex in the middle of the South China Sea? I don’t think so!”

This comes after Trump spoke with the president of Taiwan by phone on Friday, the first call between the leaders of both countries since 1979.

The 10-minute call has infuriated Beijing, with its foreign ministry lodging a diplomatic complaint against Trump, urging the US “to cautiously” and “properly” handle Taiwan issues to avoid “unnecessary disturbance” China-US relationship.

The US broke formal ties with Taiwan in 1979, taking on a One-China position — switching diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China — as it looked to establish diplomatic channels with Beijing. Tsai is openly against the One-China principle.

While many expected the threats Trump made against China during the election campaign – including starting a trade war with the world’s second largest economy, imposing a 45% tariff on Chinese imports, and calling them a currency manipulator on his first day in office – would soften after his victory, his tweets suggest he’s still planning a confrontational course, which has sent jitters through global markets.

Although Italy is being cited as the main factor behind market declines, the Trump comments China are no doubt contributing to investor caution in Asia.

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