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Chinese state media: Trump's tweets are 'pouring fuel to the fire'

By
Elizabeth Shim
Chinese state-run media said Monday that the U.S. underwater military drone captured last week is evidence of massive U.S. military surveillance of China. File Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Arthurgwain L. Marquez/U.S. Navy/UPI
Chinese state-run media said Monday that the U.S. underwater military drone captured last week is evidence of massive U.S. military surveillance of China. File Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Arthurgwain L. Marquez/U.S. Navy/UPI

BEIJING, Dec. 19 (UPI) -- U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's activity on Twitter is causing friction with China a month before his inauguration.

Multiple state media services are taking a critical approach to Trump's online comments about the Chinese capture of a U.S. underwater drone on Friday.

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China has agreed to return the drone, but Chinese publications like the Xinmin Network is not taking Trump's recent tweet on the incident lightly.

On Saturday, Trump had tweeted, "We should tell China that we don't want the drone they stole back."

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In response, Chinese state media criticized the president-elect for "showing off his presence" on the social network and before his more than 17 million followers.

The response from the Global Times was more blunt.

The state tabloid accused Trump of "pouring fuel to the fire" by directly addressing the drone issue.

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China's foreign ministry has said the word "steal" is "inaccurate" and that Beijing's navy had "examined it in a professional manner."

On Monday, China's state-owned news agency Xinhua criticized U.S. media reporting of the event which only "disclosed a part" of the story.

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"This attitude of the United States does not help solve the situation," Xinhua stated.

"The U.S. side played down its drone activities, but its intention behind them cannot be concealed. The drone that emerged from the South China Sea is just the tip of the iceberg in the U.S. military strategy on China," the People's Daily, the official Chinese Communist Party newspaper, said in a commentary.

The personality differences between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are also raising concerns among experts, The New York Times reported Monday.

"I could not think of two more different protagonists in the great drama of U.S.-China relations," said Evan S. Medeiros, formerly the senior director for Asian affairs at the National Security Council. "Personalities matter a lot in international relations, especially between great powers."

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