China's state tabloid is taking a swipe at Japan and Taiwan after some of the richest businessmen in the two countries pledged to invest in the United States following the election of Donald Trump.
The editorial published Thursday in the Global Times claimed promises from SoftBank's chief executive Masayoshi Son and Taiwanese tech firm Foxconn founder Terry Guo to invest in U.S. industry are signs Tokyo and Taipei plan to pay out "protection money" to the United States.
The article did not provide evidence for the claim.
Son and the U.S. president-elect had announced Tuesday that SoftBank plans to invest $50 billion and create 50,000 jobs in the United States.
The money for the deal is expected to come from a $100 billion joint tech fund established by SoftBank and the Saudi Arabian government. It is not clear how much of that money will come from the Japanese telecom giant.
Foxconn, a key supplier to U.S. firm Apple, has reportedly pledged $7 billion, according to South Korean news agency Yonhap.
Both sums of money are payments for the "cost of protection," the Global Times stated.
The Chinese news service went on further to say the United States' allies in the Asia-Pacific are mobilizing in preparation for a change in the U.S. administration, and that the investments are being made because Japanese and Taiwanese authorities want to create a favorable impression in the United States.
Trump had made it clear in the course of his campaign policies would change under his presidency, including the U.S. position on the multilateral trade deal Trans-Pacific Partnership.
But Trump's top Cabinet picks tell a different story, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.
Trump's recent nominees, including Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad and Marine Gen. James Mattis, have both supported the elimination of trade barriers in the Asia-Pacific.
Brandstad has been picked for the U.S. ambassador position to China and Mattis is Trump's choice for defense secretary.
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