Chinese state-run tabloid Global Times issued a warning to Donald Trump that Beijing would exact revenge if he goes back on the One China policy, just hours after Taiwanese leader Tsai Ing-wen made a controversial stopover at Houston, Texas.

The Global Times editorial on Sunday (8 January) said "Sticking to (the one China) principle is not a capricious request by China upon U.S. presidents, but an obligation of U.S. presidents to maintain China-U.S. relations and respect the existing order of the Asia-Pacific."

It added, "If Trump reneges on the one-China policy after taking office, the Chinese people will demand the government to take revenge. There is no room for bargaining."

The editorial also took aim at Tsai saying that Beijing should "impose military pressure on Taiwan and push it to the edge of being reunified by force, so as to effectively affect the approval rating of the Tsai administration."

Taiwan's president reportedly met Republican legislators in Houston on Sunday during her stopover. China had previously urged Washington against letting Tsai enter the United States and having formal meetings with her under the One China policy.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who met Tsai on Sunday, said in a statement: "The People's Republic of China needs to understand that in America we make decisions about meeting with visitors for ourselves. This is not about the PRC. This is about the U.S. relationship with Taiwan, an ally we are legally bound to defend." Cruz also said that they discussed upgrading bilateral ties and increasing economic co-operation.

On Monday, Tsai's office downplayed her US meetings and said that the Taiwanese president talked to friends during her unofficial stopover. On her way back to Taiwan on 13 January, she will make another stopover in San Francisco.

President Tsai Ing-wen
President Tsai Ing-wen waves during National Day celebrations in Taipei, Taiwan, 10 October 2016 Reuters