Rep. Paul Ryan and members of the mainstream media aren’t the only ones struggling with how to respond to and control Donald Trump’s use of Twitter.
Fed up with his missives about Taiwan, trade deficits and even their policy on aiding and abetting North Korea, the Chinese government lashed out at Trump through their state run television networks, imploring the President-elect to cut it out.
“An obsession with ‘Twitter foreign policy’ is undesirable,” reads an opinion piece in China’s Xinhua News. The story goes on to claim that Trump’s Twitter has “aroused concern” in American academic circles, and that CNN has accused Trump of sabotaging bilateral relations with America’s allies.
“Everyone recognizes the common sense that foreign policy isn’t child’s play, and even less, it is like doing business deals,” the piece finishes.
But it isn’t as though Trump’s Twitter is bothering anyone in China other than the country’s elites. Twitter, as a platform, has been banned in China since 2009, and micr0-blogging mavens there use a proprietary, state-run service instead. In order to access the social network, mainland Chinese need to mask their IP address or use a fake VPN (there are, at least count, around 10 million Chinese who do this).
The Chinese government, instead, seems to be the most likely entity annoyed as they’ve been forced to take Trump’s criticisms to heart, or at least to the press. On Tuesday, a spokesman for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs was forced to deny that they had “coddled” North Korea as Trump had accused.
According to the article, though, it seems they’ve resigned themselves to social media diplomacy. They admit that if Sean Spicer can’t take Trump’s Twitter away, it’s unlikely Chinese state media will have much effect.