China’s plan to punish a US automaker accused of price-fixing is a sign of how Beijing could retaliate if President-elect Donald Trump upends decades of relations between the two nations. Trump’s assertion that the United States need not be bound by the policy that Taiwan is part of “one China” would erode the bedrock of US-China ties. Few expect the disagreement will lead to outright military confrontation. However, in what might be a shot across the bow of the Trump administration, the official China Daily newspaper quoted a state planning official saying China will soon penalize an unnamed US automaker for monopolistic behavior. Auto industry sources have told Reuters this specific investigation was already underway before Trump’s recent comments. In Washington, a Democratic congressional aide said China’s threat to fine the automaker was a “good sharp reminder” to Trump that “they have cards to play too.”
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