China's influential state-run newspaper has warned US President-elect Donald Trump against targeting bilateral trade with the communist nation in a bid to take on a tough stance against China.
"If Trump wants to target bilateral trade, he should first weigh the consequences of China's countermeasures," Global Times said in its editorial published on 9 November.
Dismissing all the hype over Trump's move into the White House, the newspaper said that China would be able to cope with the leadership change in the US. "The election will have a long-term impact on the US, as well as the world. But China is one of the quickest countries to adapt."
In a veiled attack on Trump's character, the newspaper said the "future trajectory of Sino-US relations should not be determined by his character," warning that China needs to "safeguard its interests with its own strength."
Trump's foreign policy carries most uncertainty
The newspaper admitted that the most uncertainty over a Trump presidency is foreign policy. "The future of the China-US relationship and Russia-US ties will have a strong effect on the overall international community. "
It says Trump's campaign could threaten to turn Sino-US relations from a geopolitical rivalry to an economic conflict.
"His much-touted business experience will in some form penetrate future US foreign policy. In turn, Sino-US relations may see dramatic re-negotiations, including sharpened conflicts of interests."
The newspaper conceded that China was more familiar with Hillary Clinton, a former secretary of state and former first lady, adding that Beijing has no experience with Trump. It noted that Trump regularly railed against China during his campaign and had vowed to "drastically adjust US foreign trade policy."
It believes the US, under President Trump will focus its attention on improving its "sluggish domestic economy" rather than "extending its tentacles across Asia." China, the newspaper said, will be keeping a close watch on the situation as the US "still has an unshakeable influence on the global economy."
Trump not bold enough to really change the US
It also doubted whether Trump will carry out the campaign promises he made to woo voters. "He probably will not make any drastic changes in the short term, and it is highly likely that he will not live up to his campaign promises."
The state-run paper even went as far as to say that Trump was not "bold enough to really change the country."
Acknowledging that Trump has long been a global figure, it however said: "Neither the US nor the world is ready for his presidency."
The newspaper also took the opportunity to criticise the political system in the US, saying that if a person like Trump could be voted in as president, there must be something wrong. "Trump's win has dealt a heavy blow to the heart of US politics. He was known for being a blowhard and an egomaniac."
It also slammed the US media which it said "despised" Trump. "The media violated the principle of remaining a neutral and objective voice. It misled the electorate with fraudulent polling practices."
It also noted that the mainstream values of both the Democratic and Republican parties have lost touch with the times.
Positive about Trump?
Despite its misgivings, the Chinese newspaper said that Trump "may not be as strongly adverse to a 'win-win' scenario with China as the previous US political establishments.
It said that Trump may "resentfully" have to cater to US elite groups but that the new president will try to be tough enough on China at the same time.
In its business editorial, the newspaper said that the US billionaire is "optimistically expected to become more rational when he assumes the office of the US president." It believes that president-elect will strike a balance on the international stage to maximise US interests.
"However, Trump's victory is not the worst result for China because Clinton's strategy toward China was seen as tougher than Trump's despite his unpredictability. Beijing will perhaps feel more pressure from Washington on economic issues, such as trade deficits and the exchange rate of the yuan, after Trump assumes office, but it is relatively easy to solve these problems."