China scolds Donald Trump about Twitter use
A leading Chinese newspaper has criticized Donald Trump's use of Twitter, in a continuation of the war of words between Beijing and the president-elect.
"The obsession with 'Twitter diplomacy' is undesirable," said a commentary in Xinhua news. "It is a commonly accepted that diplomacy is not a child's game -- and even less is it business dealing. As former United States Secretary of State [Madeleine] Albright said, Twitter should not be a tool for foreign policy."
The news outlet is associated with the ruling Communist Party of China; CNN calls it "the biggest and most influential of China's state-run media."
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The president-elect famously used Twitter frequently during the campaign. His team has said that practice will continue in the administration. And on Wednesday, incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer said he does not know what Trump is posting to Twitter beforehand.
"I do not know, I do not get a memo [about the tweets]," Spicer told the University of Chicago. "He drives the train on this."
Last month, Spicer elaborated on why Twitter is so important to Trump.
"He has this direct pipeline in the American people, where he can talk back and forth," he told Rhode Island news station WPRI in December, calling Trump's use of social media "a really exciting part of the job."
Trump spoke about China on Twitter as recently as Monday, tweeting, "China has been taking out massive amounts of money & wealth from the U.S. in totally one-sided trade, but won't help with North Korea. Nice!"
The president-elect's use of social media has drawn criticism from some domestically, as well. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., argued Twitter could be a distraction for Trump, keeping him from addressing the issues that affect the American people in more depth.
"With all due respect, America cannot afford a Twitter presidency," Schumer said Tuesday in his first Senate floor speech as minority leader. "We have real challenges and we have real needs to get things done, and many Americans are afraid, Mr. President-elect, that instead of rolling up your sleeves and forging serious policies, for you, Twitter suffices."