In his first phone call with Chinese President Xi Jinping since taking office, US President Donald Trump on Feb. 10 told his counterpart that his administration will honor the so-called one-China policy, a long-standing diplomatic formula underpinning Washington’s relations with Beijing and Taipei. According to a White House statement, Trump and Xi spoke at length about a range of bilateral issues. Trump’s affirmation of existing US policy of maintaining only unofficial ties with Taiwan came at the request of the Chinese president. (Mainland China and Taiwan both adhere to the idea that there is only one China, so if a country forges ties with either Beijing or Taipei, it must sever ties with the other.)
Relations between Washington and Beijing have been effectively frozen since December when Trump broke diplomatic tradition by taking a congratulatory phone call from Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen – the first such call since Washington and Beijing established diplomatic relations in 1979. Trump later suggested his administration may depart from its long-standing position on Taiwan if Beijing proves unwilling to make concessions on other issues such as trade. Beijing has repeatedly warned, however, that its one-China policy is nonnegotiable.
This post was published at FinancialSense on 02/10/2017.