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Iran Press TV

China warns of 'showdown' over Trump choices

Iran Press TV

Fri Dec 23, 2016 10:6AM

Chinese state media have warned of a "showdown" with the US after President-elect Donald Trump named an economist pushing for a hard line against China to head a key White House post.

Trump's naming of Peter Navarro, who has authored books such as "Death by China: How America Lost its Manufacturing Base", to head a new White House National Trade Council has sparked alarm in China.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said Beijing was paying close attention to any changes in US policy under Trump.

Navarro's book was made into a documentary film about Beijing's desire to become the dominant economic and military power in Asia.

"Those individuals such as Navarro who have a bias against China are being picked to work in leading positions in the next administration, is no laughing matter," the official China Daily said in an editorial.

The ruling Communist Party's official People's Daily said Trump's decision over Navarro was "by no means a positive signal."

"China needs to face up to the reality that the Trump team maintains a hard-line attitude toward China. It must discard any illusions and make full preparations for any offensive move by the Trump government," it said.

The choice of the hardliner on China for the trade post is seen as a prelude to a potential slowdown in US investment in China, according to several Chinese experts who cautioned that a trade war could ensue.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi warned that China's relations with the United States were facing new uncertainties.

Trump has been exhibiting anti-Chinese belligerence since before he was elected US president. He has previously blamed China as one of the countries causing America's economic slump.

During his campaign run, he said he would impose much higher tariffs on Chinese imports and criticized Beijing for devaluing its currency.

After winning the presidential race, Trump broke with diplomatic protocol by taking a phone call from Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen, challenging Chinese sovereignty over the self-ruled island.

On Friday, China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Beijing is "paying close attention" to what nuclear weapons policy Trump's administration will follow.

Trump tweeted Thursday: "The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes."

The US and Russia hold the vast majority of the world's nuclear weapons. China is also a nuclear power and in 1996, Beijing signed the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

According to the Washington-based Arms Control Association, China has an estimated 260 nuclear warheads. Russia and the US have more than 7,000 each.

Hua said that China advocates a ban on and destruction of nuclear weapons.

"The countries that have the largest nuclear arsenals should bear special responsibility for nuclear disarmament, take a lead in drastically and tangibly cutting the number of nuclear weapons," she said.

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