US President-elect Donald Trump has appointed economist Peter Navarro, a fierce critic of China, as the head of the White House National Trade Council, and serve as director of trade and industrial policy..
BBC reports that Mr Trump’s team said the appointment showed his “determination to make American manufacturing great again”.
During the election, the president-elect made trade issues a core campaign issue, criticising deals made with countries like China and Mexico.
Mr Trump has already angered China by speaking to the Taiwanese president by phone, in apparent contradiction with America’s “one China” policy.
He has also criticised China on Twitter, recently accusing it of deliberately devaluing its currency, among other claims.
The latest move came as Chinese online retailer Alibaba was placed back on the US list of “notorious markets” over counterfeit goods sales.
Alibaba Group President Michael Evans questioned whether the move was “based on actual facts or influenced by the current political climate”.
Navarro is also an economics professor at the University of California, Irvine