Trump Seeks to Improve Ties With Beijing Despite Anti-China Rhetoric
Amid his ongoing anti-China rhetoric, US President-elect Donald Trump on Thursday called for an improvement in Sino-US relations saying it was one of the most important relationships that the United States needs to cultivate with the world's second largest economy.
"One of the most important relationships we must improve, and we have to improve, is our relationship with China," Trump told his supporters in a gratitude rally held in Iowa.
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The incoming president has repeatedly and openly criticized Beijing, branding it as a currency manipulator and accusing it of not 'playing by the rules' in its trade dealings.
Although Trump pointed out that China 'is not a market economy,' he, however, urged Beijing to start toeing the line in its trade practices.
"You have the massive theft of intellectual property, putting unfair taxes on our companies, not helping with the menace of North Korea like they should, and the at-will and massive devaluation of their currency and product dumping," Trump said of China during the rally.
Trump has been criticizing China since his presidential campaign and has further provoked Beijing following his recent phone call with Taiwan president Tsai Lng-wen last week, breaking decades old protocol wherein the US recognizes only the Beijing government.
China considers Taiwan as a breakaway province and has publicly declared that it would not hesitate to use force if the island persists in pushing for independence.
The US Treasury Department as well as the International Monetary Fund denied that China was a currency manipulator. Records from the World Trade Organization showed that Chinese tariffs on imported goods are generally higher than US tariffs.
Trump has repeatedly threatened China that it would slap a 45 percetn tariff on all imported China-made goods as he accused Beijing of robbing jobs from US workers.