As it turns out, China is really not a big fan of President-elect Donald Trump's tweets at this point. "An obsession with 'Twitter diplomacy' is undesirable," read a headline on an op-ed from state-run Xinhua on Tuesday.
The trigger was this tweet, in which Trump threw shade at China, blaming the country for not holding its nuclear neighbor North Korea accountable.
"The common sense is that, diplomacy is neither a child's play nor a business," writes Liu Si, a Xinhua writer who covered the 2012 US election and longs for the old days of diplomacy.
Trump's Twitter obsession might've helped creating a new profession: Trump Twitter Monitor. South Korea has hired one, but Beijing is taking a different strategy — launching counterattacks via state mouthpieces.
BuzzFeed News looked through the Twitter accounts of China's state-run media — CGTN (formerly-known as CCTV), Xinhua, People's Daily, Global Times, China Daily, and China.org.cn — and located these tweets that directly tag Trump's account:
Dec. 7: On the precedence breaking phone call between Trump and Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen, the Global Times, the most outspoken tabloid, threatened that Trump would pay for his mistakes — with a tweet that failed to go viral.
Dec. 13: This time the government highlighted a battle between a rich man and a really rich man, who threatened to cut his investments in the US.
Dec. 19: China's foreign ministry started to lose patience and sent a message via the People's Daily: "We don't like the word 'steal.'"
Dec. 23: Xinhua urged him to rethink his New Year's resolution to "greatly strengthen and expand" the US's nuclear capacity.
Jan. 3: The People's Daily @'ed Trump to point out that China-US trade is not "totally one-sided."
All of this shade does make one wonder though: just who is fanning these Twitter flames? Twitter, like many other American social media websites, is blocked in China — "404 page not found."
Beimeng Fu is a BuzzFeed News World Reporter covering China and is based in New York.
Contact Beimeng Fu at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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