Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article imageOp-Ed: China blasts Trump’s Twitter obsession

By Paul Wallis     Jan 6, 2017 in World
Sydney - Seems that while DT’s tweets generate a lot of business for America’s “news media”, China is already tired of it. Official Chinese news outlet Xinhua has a lengthy list of complaints and commentary.
The bottom line with China's complaints about Trump's tweets isn’t hard to find. Trump tweeted that China was making a lot of money in “totally one-sided trade with the U.S.” but wouldn’t help with North Korea. Xinhua reported an official rebuttal from the Chinese foreign ministry, saying that China had in fact responded publicly.
Twitter is banned in China, but obviously the global perceptions of the President-elect’s tweets are striking a few discords with Beijing. So far, Taiwan, trade, North Korea and the South China Sea — all hyper-sensitive issues with China — have been targeted.
Meanwhile, Trump’s press spokesman Sean Spicer says that it’s a misconception that Trump is “randomly tweeting” and the tweets are strategic and objective-based. Spicer says he looks on Twitter first thing in the morning to see what Trump has said, because that will be “driving the news” of the day.
Which it will. Such is the state of global media. Trump’s tweets have been pretty broad-based. They’re in some ways reminiscent of his “speeches”; a sort of ongoing subject train of thought which has multiple destinations but never stops.
Exactly how the other 7.3 billion people on Earth are likely to react to Trump’s various ploys, stratagems and 140-character outbreaks of pith is debatable. It’s certainly different. American diplomats and officials are known, believe it or not, for their almost masochistic politeness and tact unless actually at war with the people they contact.
The extremely vulgar, high-school-level “grab ‘em by the pussy” level of American social interactions, however, isn’t quite the same thing. While the professionalism of America’s representatives is generally a benchmark for good presentation, if not instant acceptance, this is very different. English-speakers, in particular, can take it or leave it.
More serious, if only slightly more annoying than the utterly uncalled-for vulgarity, is the instant creation of economic tensions. China is the world’s second largest economy. Most U.S. goods are made in China, and it’s not like Apple, Google, Microsoft and the rest of America’s blue chips have been losing money on the deal.
The fatal flaw in dragon-baiting is that dragons react like dragons. Dragons have tempers and this one has economic muscle and market reach. China has plenty of customers. It can survive a U.S. trade war, with some pain, true. China can also duplicate practically every single bit of technology it produces for the U.S. in some form, notably generics which aren’t subject to IP rights. They can also flood the global market with these things.
Another whimsical issue is the fact that China’s suppliers and trading partners may not want to forego hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of trade on the basis of a Tweet. Australia for example has a huge multi-decade long trading partnership with China, and we don’t want to read about what’s happening to that relationship on Twitter.
America has a huge stock of goodwill around the world among its friends. It might be an idea not to burn up that stock on the basis of 140 characters of online grandstanding, however strategic.
Just one more thing – an uncharacteristic silence can mean anything and be quite effective as a negotiation tool. It’s when you open your mouth that the problems usually start.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about trump twitter, China responds to Trump tweets, US China trade, Australia China trade, OECD China trade
More news from
Latest News
Top News