Trump lashes out at China on Twitter

President-elect accuses China of currency manipulation. Unclear if rant is related to China's complaint over call with Taiwan president.

Ben Ariel ,

Donald Trump
Donald Trump

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump lashed out at China on Sunday, accusing Beijing of currency manipulation and flexing its military might in the South China Sea.

“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!” tweeted Trump.

It is unclear whether the Twitter rant is related to the complaint China launched on the weekend over Trump’s phone call on Friday with Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen, which broke an American policy of 37 years.

On Sunday, Vice President-elect Mike Pence stressed that the phone conversation with Taiwan’s President was simply a "courtesy call" and, asked whether any shift in policy should be read into the call, replied, "I don't think so."

"This was a courtesy call. The democratically elected President of Taiwan called to congratulate the President-elect," Pence told NBC.

The United States closed its embassy in Taiwan and cut ties with Taiwan in 1979, after President Richard Nixon's visit to China, adhering to the "one China" principle and considering Taiwan to be part of the Chinese mainland.

China's Foreign Ministry said on Saturday it had filed a complaint with the "relevant side" after the U.S.-Taiwan phone call.

"We have noticed relevant reports and lodged solemn representation with the relevant side in the United States," said a statement from China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang.

"I must point out that there is only one China in the world and Taiwan is an inseparable part of the Chinese territory ... The 'one China' principle is the political foundation of China-U.S. relations,” the statement added.

"We urge the relevant side in the U.S. to adhere to the 'one China' policy, abide by the pledges in the three joint China-U.S. communiques, and handle issues related to Taiwan carefully and properly to avoid causing unnecessary interference to the overall China-U.S. relationship."