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Chinese media warn Donald Trump of 'direct confrontation'

Beijing’s Global Times said the U.S. president-elect was using North Korea as a pretext to threaten China.

By Elizabeth Shim
One of China's top news and society magazines, featuring a front-page story on U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's future diplomatic relations at home and abroad, is sold at a newsstand in Beijing. Chinese state media condemned Trump's tweets that criticized China for not doing enough to curb North Korea provocations. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
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Chinese state media issued a strong response to Donald Trump on Wednesday, after the U.S. president-elect accused China of not helping Washington on North Korea while economically exploiting the United States.
The blunt editorial published in state tabloid Global Times warned Trump against "stubbornly persisting" in condemnations of Beijing for North Korea's rapidly developing nuclear weapons program.
On Monday, Trump tweeted, "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!" after tweeting that North Korea's nuclear development "won't happen" during his presidency.
The Chinese article suggested Trump was trying to threaten China using North Korea as a pretext and blamed U.S. and South Korea "military pressure" for compelling North Korea to develop weapons of mass destruction to guard against regime instability.
The editorial also stated the United States and South Korea were pressuring Beijing to take a side against Pyongyang but added, "Regrettably, China has no mind to take a side."
"We do not want war or chaos on the Korean peninsula and if conflict arises even China cannot stop it...[but] if the political situation changes after the worst-case scenario we will raise our voice and must not permit an enemy regime or a regime allied to the enemy by crossing the Yalu River" between China and North Korea, the article read.
The Chinese newspaper also warned Trump against "treating China like Japan or South Korea" while adding, "If Trump is strong enough, after his inauguration let us engage in a direct confrontation in East Asia."
The president-elect has previously said Beijing has done little to assist the United States in controlling North Korea's weapons proliferation, a statement that has invited speculation about his future North Korea policy and his approach to China, a country that has been cooperating on tougher sanctions.

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