Chinese newspaper claims Donald Trump has no idea 'how to lead superpower'

The newspaper comments come amid tensions that have arisen after China seized a US drone in the South China Sea

Chinese newspaper claims Donald Trump has no idea 'how to lead superpower'

Picture by Evan Vucci AP/Press Association Images

Chinese media are lashing out against Donald Trump amid a diplomatic spat over a US underwater drone seized by Beijing, with one newspaper saying the President-elect has no idea "how to lead a superpower".

The seizure of the US Navy's unmanned underwater glider in the South China Sea is one of the most serious incidents between the world's two largest military powers in years.

China's foreign ministry said on Monday that the two militaries are having "unimpeded" talks about the return of the drone, but tensions remain high.

The Global Times, a newspaper with close ties to the ruling Communist Party, said in an editorial that "Trump is not behaving as a president who will become master of the White House in a month. 

"He bears no sense of how to lead a superpower".

The state-owned China Daily newspaper said Mr Trump's behaviour "could easily drive China-US relations into what Obama portrays as 'full-conflict mode'." 

A separate article quoted experts as calling Mr Trump's behaviour "diplomatically inept".

The drone, known as an unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV), was taken on Thursday in waters off the coast of the Philippines, the first seizure of its kind in recent memory.

The US said China's "unlawful seizure" came in international waters. It said the device was collecting scientific data such as temperatures.

China said the drone had been snatched since it might pose a safety hazard to other vessels and pointedly accused the US of sending ships "in China's presence" to conduct "military surveying."

China's ministry of defence on Saturday had slammed alleged American "hyping" of China's capture of the drone as "inappropriate and unhelpful".

Beijing said it would give it back, but Mr Trump said Beijing should be told "we don't want the drone they stole back" and "let them keep it!"

In one of those tweets, he had called China's move an "unpresidented (sic) act", with the misspelled word going viral, to much ridicule, before he deleted it and tweeted the same thing again without the error.

"What is truly amazing about this tweet, was the soon-to-be US president completely misrepresented what had actually happened - that is more dangerous than funny," China Daily said. 

Mr Trump has already infuriated Beijing by questioning longstanding US "One China" policy on Taiwan, calling Beijing a currency manipulator and threatening punitive tariffs on Chinese imports.