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Chinese state media rebukes Donald Trump for "Twitter foreign policy"

President-elect Donald Trump has taken to Twitter recently to sound off on foreign policy issues.

China isn’t happy.

A story about Mr. Trump’s tweets posted this week on Xinhua, China’s state news agency, said Twitter should not be used as “an instrument of foreign policy.”

“An obsession with ‘Twitter foreign policy’ is undesirable,” read the headline of commentary from Xinhua on Tuesday, according to a translation from the New York Times.

“Everyone recognizes the common sense that foreign policy isn’t child’s play, and even less is it like doing business deals,” the article said.

Mr. Trump has kept up a consistent pace on Twitter in recent weeks, posting 140-character missives on everything from Guantanamo Bay prisoners to whether he would have beaten President Obama in a hypothetical 2016 matchup.

His tweets also include frequent commentary on foreign policy -- and in the last month, a handful of those tweets have been directed at China. On Monday, he tweeted to criticize the U.S.-China trade relationship and to chide China for refusing to “help with North Korea”:

That tweet prompted China’s foreign affairs minister to respond during a press conference the following day, where he said the “essence of China-U.S. economic cooperation and trade is mutually beneficial” and that China’s position on North Korea “is consistent and clear.”

And shortly before Christmas, he took to Twitter to accuse China of “steal[ing] United States Navy research”:

Earlier in December, Mr. Trump tweeted about China’s currency manipulation:

Still, the Xinhua story recognized that tweeting is a “habit” for Mr. Trump, and something they did not expect to stop once he takes office.

“Issuing tweets has become a habit for Mr. Trump,” Xinhua said. Mr. Trump, the story said, “issuing hard-line comments and taking up sensitive issues” might help him in negotiating with other countries.

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