China has hit back at Donald Trump’s claim that Beijing isn’t doing enough to rein in rogue state North Korea, cautioning the U.S. President-elect not to “escalate” an already tense situation on the Korean Peninsula through his liberal use of social media.
On Monday evening, Trump took to Twitter to deny North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s claim that his nation was in the “final stage” of developing a nuclear-armed ballistic missile capable of hitting the U.S. mainland. Trump then followed up with another tweet to say China wasn’t doing enough to temper the young despot’s belligerence.
“China has been taking out massive amounts of money & wealth from the U.S. in totally one-sided trade, but won’t help with North Korea. Nice!” read the tweet.
In response, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a press briefing on Tuesday that his government’s efforts were “widely recognized,” and that “we hope all sides will avoid remarks and actions to escalate the situation.”
The Korean Peninsula is the latest source of friction between the incoming Trump Administration and China to be aired via the President-elect’s Twitter account.
To truly bridle the Kim regime, the incoming U.S. President will have to work hard to assure Beijing that its strategic interests are not compromised by coming down tougher on North Korea. The question is: Does Trump’s baiting of China on Twitter render a difficult sell now impossible?
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