Trump inauguration deepens rift with China over Taiwan

Mr Donald Trump takes his oath of office as the 45th President of the United States today, presiding over a sharply divided country that he could also drag into a costly trade war with China. "This message has been delivered to the sitting U.S. administration and the Trump transition team".

Mr Anthony Scaramucci, a hedge-fund investor who is representing the Trump team at the World Economic Forum, said instead that the USA wanted to have a "phenomenal relationship" with China.

Taiwan is to send Yu Shyi-kun, former premier and ex-ruling party leader, to represent Taipei at Trump's inauguration.

Trump angered Beijing and upset decades of diplomatic precedent by talking by phone with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen shortly after winning November's presidential election.

Hua made no mention of the long-running dispute over Taiwan, the self-governing island that China claims as its own territory.

Mr Trump is due to be sworn in as the new US President on Friday.

China will send its ambassador to the US, Cui Tiankai, to the inauguration.

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She added: "We once again urge relevant parties in the USA to allow no delegation sent by the Taiwan authority to attend the inauguration ceremony of the President, and not to have any official contact with Taiwan".

A delegation of 11 Taiwan officials led by former president of Taiwan's central government, You Xikun, arrived in the U.S. on January 16.

The administration of President Barack Obama has repeatedly reinforced the U.S. commitment to the "one China" policy, under which Washington acknowledges China's position of sovereignty over Taiwan, since Trump's call with the Taiwanese leader. China considers the small island 80km (110 miles) off its southeastern coast to be a breakaway province with no right to any kind of diplomatic contacts with other countries.

"If Trump reneges on the one-China policy after taking office, the Chinese people will demand the government to take revenge".

China said it opposed the Taiwan delegation's attendance, which could "disturb or undermine Sino-US relations".

China and the U.S need to be "friends and partners rather than competitors and enemies", Hua said.

As security barricades go up in the USA capital ahead of massive protests against the incoming president, a different sense of trepidation is growing overseas of a looming clash over trade between China and the U.S., with dire consequences for the global economy.

  • Sonia Alvarado