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China’s reaction over Trump’s tweets and Taiwan call

China’s reaction over Trump’s tweets and Taiwan callU.S. President-elect Trump is clear about China's position on the Taiwan issue and China has maintained contacts with his team, the foreign ministry said on Monday, according to Reuters.

In Beijing, foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang was trying to clarify the situation on Monday after Trump took to Twitter to complain about Chinese economic and military policy.

Trump's unusual call with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen on Friday prompted a diplomatic protest on Saturday, though U.S. Vice President-elect Mike Pence played down the telephone conversation, saying it was a "courtesy" call, not intended to show a shift in U.S. policy on China.

Lu Kang would not say directly who China had lodged "stern representations" with about Trump's call, repeating a weekend statement that it had gone to the "relevant side" in the United States.

"The whole world knows about the Chinese government's position on the Taiwan issue. I think President-elect Trump and his team are also clear," Lu told a daily news briefing.

"The Chinese side in Beijing and Washington lodged solemn representations with the relevant side in the U.S. The world is very clear on China's solemn position. The U.S. side, including President-elect Trump's team, is very clear about China's solemn position on this issue," he added.

Pressed on who the diplomatic protest was lodged with, Lu said: "I think it's easy to understand 'the relevant side'."

"In fact, China has maintained contacts and communication with the team of President-elect Trump," he added, repeating a previous assertion, though did not give details.

Lu also said he would not speculate on what prompted the call, but described the matter of Taiwan as the most important and sensitive question between China and the United States.

Trump, who vowed during his campaign to label China a currency manipulator, issued more tough rhetoric on Sunday.

"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!" Trump said on Twitter.

Lu would not be drawn on directly commenting on Trump's tweets, but defended the China-U.S. relationship.

"The China-U.S. economic and trade relationship has over many years always been a highly mutually beneficial one, otherwise it couldn't have developed the way it has today," he said.

"China and the United States maintaining good relations, a steadily developing relationship, accords with the joint interests of both peoples," he added.

The call with Taipei was the first by a U.S. president-elect or president with a Taiwan leader since President Jimmy Carter switched diplomatic recognition to China from Taiwan in 1979, acknowledging Taiwan as part of "one China". China regards Taiwan as a renegade province.

China blamed Taiwan for the call, but also lodged the diplomatic protest with the United States, saying the "one China" policy was the bedrock of relations with the United States.

Pence called the uproar over the call with "democratically elected" Tsai a "tempest in a teapot". He blamed the media for the controversy, saying the call was similar in nature to one between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping after the Nov. 8 election.

"I would just say to our counterparts in China that this was a moment of courtesy. The president-elect talked to President Xi two weeks ago in the same manner. It was not a discussion about policy," Pence said on NBC's "Meet the Press".
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