U.S. President-elect Donald Trump confirmed a brief phone conversation with "the President of Taiwan" in a Twitter post Friday evening and sparked a backlash against both Trump and Taiwan among Chinese media, including the Communist Party-sponsored Huanqiu website, an outlet of the People's Daily, which has threatened to "punish Taiwan by snatching away a few of its last remaining diplomatic allies and let Tsai Ing-wen pay the price," in an editorial published on Sunday.
The 10-minute phone call is the first of its kind since the U.S. severed diplomatic ties with Taiwan in 1979.
On Saturday, Beijing first reacted to news of the call with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi saying the call was nothing but "a small trick by Taiwan" and "is not going to change the longstanding one-China policy acknowledged by international society."
In an English editorial run by the state-funded news agency China Daily on Sunday, the call is considered to have exposed "his (Trump's) and his transition team's inexperience in dealing with foreign affairs." The article continued to say that Trump will have to "recognize the significance of prudently and appropriately addressing these sensitive issues after being inaugurated," as he is to shoulder the responsibility of safeguarding the interests of the United States, which "includes a healthy relationship with China." With that, "he cannot afford to damage the one-China policy," the article read.
Huanqiu's editorial in Chinese published on Sunday echoed the government's sentiment. The article took a forgiving tone toward Trump taking into consideration that he has yet to assume office, describing him as a political newbie playing a wildcard in an attempt to use cross-strait relations a bargaining chip.
However, the article put the blame on Taiwan for the disturbance and advised the communist government to make Taiwan pay the price by snatching away a few of Taiwan's remaining diplomatic allies, which would also serve as a warning to the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration for its pro-independence disposition.
It continued to say that Beijing can exert pressure on Taiwan by showcasing its military might while speeding up the buildup of its strategic nuclear force, including the Dongfeng-41, the world's longest ranged missile, to counter any provocative actions from the United States.
Separately, former American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director William A. Stanton said in a radio interview Monday that the phone call appeared to be a deliberate arrangement and can be seen as a positive move. "The U.S. should have done that earlier," he said.