China has warned the U.S. president-elect, Donald Trump, against isolationism and interventionism, calling instead for the United States to actively work with China to maintain the international status quo.
In a commentary published on Thursday morning, Chinese state media said the new U.S. president and China should “jointly build a new model of major power relations”. That echoes the position of Chinese President Xi Jinping that says global powers should work to accommodate, not contain, a rising China in the international system.
The commentary said “History has proven that U.S. overseas military interventionism causes them to pay disastrous political and economic costs.”
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Though hoping “election talk is just election talk”, China warned the U.S against its isolationist policies which had “accelerated the country’s economic crisis” during the Great Depression.
During his election campaign, Trump threatened to tear up trade deals and pursue a more unilateral foreign policy under his “America First” principle.
Donald Trump often targeted China in the campaign, blaming Beijing for U.S. job losses and vowing to impose 45 percent tariffs on Chinese imports. The Republican also promised to call China a currency manipulator on his first day in office.
Though Trump is known to have at times made contradictory statements and provided few details of how he would deal with the world, China and other foreign governments are uncertain how much of Trump’s rhetoric will be translated into policy.
Beijing fears the unpredictability of a Trump presidency as it seeks to maintain an equilibrium in Sino-U.S. relations while dealing with the daunting tasks of a reform agenda to combat a slowing economy at home.
Hillary Clinton was widely seen in China as the more hawkish of the two candidates, while some Chinese commentators saw Trump as a potential pragmatist on foreign policy.
Previously, Chinese state media had said the U.S. election process reflects a troubled political system, and showed an increasingly divided, disillusioned and indignant U.S. citizenry.
Another commentary from its state media said this election has also made clear that the U.S. political system is already caught in a predicament. “As for when it will exit this predicament, the answer is still unknown.”
Reports reveal that in an elite-controlled U.S, most of those holding power don’t support Trump. And U.S. allies across the world will pressure Washington to restrain Trump from isolationism.