Merely hours following a controversial stopover in Houston by Taiwan’s president, State-run Chinese tabloid Global Times cautioned U.S. President-elect Donald Trump that China would “take revenge” if he backs out on the One-China policy.

On Sunday, while on her stopover in Houston on the way to Central America, where she will visit Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen met senior U.S. Republican lawmakers.

Beijing had requested Washington not to permit Tsai to come into the United States and that she not have any official government gatherings under the One-China policy.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Taiwan Pres. Tsai

A photograph posted by Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Twitter shows him conferring with the Taiwanese president, with a table between them decked with the U.S., Texas and Taiwanese flags. Tsai also met with Senator Ted Cruz.

‘Maintaining One-China, U.S. president’s obligation…’

The Global Times editorial on Sunday said, “Sticking to (the One-China) principle is not a capricious request by China upon U.S. presidents, but an obligation of U.S. presidents to maintain China-U.S. relations and respect the existing order of the Asia-Pacific.” The prominent tabloid is distributed by the ruling Communist Party’s official People’s Daily.

Last month, Trump initiated protests from Beijing by accommodating a congratulatory telephone call from Tsai and querying Washington’s allegiance to China’s stance that Taiwan is part of one China.

The Global Times said, “If Trump reneges on the One-China policy after taking office, the Chinese people will demand the government to take revenge. There is no room for bargaining.”

Trump has said that he will not meet with any foreign leaders prior to taking office but left the door open for the possibility of meeting Tsai following his inauguration on Jan. 20.

Cruz said a few members of Congress had been given a letter from the Chinese consulate requesting them not to meet with Tsai during her stopovers.

In a statement, Cruz said, “The People’s Republic of China needs to understand that in America we make decisions about meeting with visitors for ourselves. This is not about the PRC. This is about the U.S. relationship with Taiwan, an ally we are legally bound to defend.”

Sen. Ted Cruz and Pres. Tsai

Cruz said he and Tsai talked about improving bilateral relations and advancing economic cooperation between their countries, including expanded access to Taiwanese markets that will help Texas ranchers, farmers and small businesses.

U.S. ‘a special place in the hearts of the people of Taiwan’

Tsai’s office has remained discreet regarding her U.S. meetings, saying on Monday only that Tsai met with “friends” during her unofficial and private stopover. On her way back to Taiwan, Tsai will stopover in San Francisco on Jan. 13.

According to a statement from her office Monday, Tsai said in a dinner speech Saturday to hundreds of overseas Taiwanese that the United States holds a “special place in the hearts of the people of Taiwan” and that the self-ruled island, through mutual exchanges, has afforded more than 320,000 jobs directly and indirectly to the American people.

Tsai said Taiwan seeks to generate more U.S. jobs through trade, procurement, and deeper investment.

China is intensely mistrustful of Tsai, who it believes, intends to promote the formal independence of Taiwan, a self-governing island that Beijing considers as a renegade province, banned from state-to-state relations.

The Global Times, whose position does not equate with government policy, also aimed at Tsai in the editorial, stating that the mainland would possibly enforce further economic, diplomatic, and military pressure on Taiwan, cautioning that “Tsai needs to face the consequences for every provocative step she takes”.