The Chinese government is making its displeasure with Trump’s statements very clear:
The Chinese government has warned Donald Trump that the two countries will have “nothing to discuss” if the US president-elect’s incoming administration decides to discard the four-decade old “One China” policy.
“Adherence to the One China policy is the political bedrock for development of [bilateral] relations,” Geng Shuang, a foreign ministry spokesman, said on Monday. “If compromised, there will be nothing to discuss on co-operation in major fields.”
China’s reaction is entirely predictable, and it points to the real costs that toying around with existing China policy could have. It is also proof that “getting tough” with China on an issue they consider to be vitally important is a losing proposition. Suggesting that they negotiate over something they regard as non-negotiable just draws rebukes and makes their government more inclined to view other U.S. proposals unfavorably. The U.S. gains nothing from any of this, and jeopardizes Chinese cooperation on other matters where it could be useful to us. If this is where Trump is going to take China policy, it would be a high-risk, no-reward gamble in which both U.S. interests and regional stability are undermined.
Steven Goldstein explains why this is so dangerous:
By using Taiwan’s status as a negotiating ploy, Trump is doubling down on this dangerous strategy. China’s vital national interests are in conflict with U.S. policy, and stable relations are fragile, because all the parties are unhappy with the present situation. If the incoming administration persists in its apparent careless indifference, it runs the risk of grossly destabilizing U.S.-China relations, and even risks war.