Trump Pledges to Uphold 'One China' Policy in Call With Xi Jinping

Cheryl Sanders
February 11, 2017

Despite China responding by saying it attached great importance to China-US ties, there is reportedly a hesitance to take Mr Trump's call. Taiwan's official name is the Republic of China - though in Beijing, the island is viewed as a province of the People's Republic of China.

Mr Wilder added: "By reasserting the commitment to the one China policy, President Trump opens the ground for a constructive dialogue with Beijing on the hard but resolvable issues of rebalancing the trading relationship that has tilted in Beijing's favour".

Xi sent a congratulatory telegram and made a phone call to Trump soon after he won the election in November. It described the call as "extremely cordial" and said the leaders had invited each other to visit.

"It's better than nothing, but it's only a very small gesture", said Shi Yinhong, a foreign affairs adviser to China's cabinet and director of the Center on American Studies at Renmin University in Beijing.

"It is known to all that since President Trump took office, China and the USA have been in close contact", Lu said. In the post-WW2 era, this meant only relations with Taiwan, though in 1979, when China realigned against the Soviet Union, Jimmy Carter revised the policy to recognize mainland China as the "one China", cutting ties with Taiwan.

State-run media in China said Trump had "stressed that he fully understood the great importance for the US government to respect the One China policy", and that "the USA government adheres to the One China policy".

He also questioned the One China policy, which is the diplomatic acknowledgement by the United States of Beijing's position that there is only one Chinese government, following his call with Taiwan.

Last week, Yang told Michael Flynn, Trump's national security adviser, that China hopes it can work with the United States to manage and control disputes and sensitive problems.

Underscoring uncertainty in the relationship, the call between the leaders came as the U.S. Pacific Command reported a Chinese jet and a U.S. Navy patrol plane had an "unsafe" encounter over the South China Sea this week.

He also upended four decades of diplomatic protocol by speaking by phone with Tsai Ing-wen, the president of Taiwan, which China claims as its own territory.

Beijing has so far responded cautiously, expressing "serious concern" about Mr Trump's position on the One China policy, and urging the USA to maintain close ties with China.

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