China to Trump: Please stop tweeting
China wants Donald Trump to delete his account.
After the United States' president-elect unleashed a string of tweets in December 2016 criticizing the China's foreign policy, Xinhua, the country's largest state-run news agency, pushed back on Jan. 3 with an editorial that, as the New York Times reports, "more or less asked Mr. Trump to shut up."
The Xinhua commentary was published under the headline, "An obsession with 'Twitter foreign policy' is undesirable," and warns of the dangers of Trump's hair-trigger social media presence.
"Everyone recognizes the common sense that foreign policy isn't child's play, and even less is it like doing business deals," the piece reads, according to the New York Times. "Twitter shouldn't become an instrument of foreign policy."
The article was published on the heels of a Trump tweet that needled China over its relationship with North Korea, one of its allies.
"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!" Trump wrote.
In addition to the Xinhua article, Trump's North Korea tweet prompted a verbal response from Geng Shuang, a spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who cautioned that the 23-word message had the potential to damage China's already precipitous relationship with North Korea.
"We hope that all sides avoid using words and actions that lead to escalating tensions," he said, according to the New York Times.
While the Xinhua piece acknowledges that "issuing tweets has become a habit for Mr. Trump," the president-elect isn't likely to curb his usage of the social media platform anytime soon.
In an interview with Rhode Island news station WPRI in late December, incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer indicated that the president-elect would continue to use Twitter to address the citizenry.
"I think that [Trump's] use of social media in particular ... is gonna be something that's never been seen before," Spicer said. "He has this direct pipeline in the American people, where he can talk back and forth."
Trump, for his part, seems aware of the ire his tweets draw from his fellow heads of state. In a post-election interview with CBS's 60 Minutes, he vowed to be "very restrained" on Twitter, "if I use it at all."