Trump reaffirms 'one China' policy in 'cordial' chat with President

Trump reaffirms 'one China' policy in 'cordial' chat with President

Donald Trump has told President Xi Jinping that America will honour Washington's "one China" policy, which has been at the centre of friction between the global powers since his election as US president.

During a phone call on Thursday night Mr Trump "agreed, at the request of President Xi", to honour the policy that requires Washington to maintain only unofficial ties with China's rival Taiwan, the White House said.

The White House described the call as "extremely cordial" and said the two leaders had invited each other to visit.

Before taking office, Mr Trump questioned the policy, which shifted diplomatic recognition from self-governing Taiwan to China in 1979, and said it was open to negotiation.

China has bristled at the "one China" comments by Mr Trump, who wants to pressure Beijing to narrow its huge trade surplus with America.

Mr Trump had accused Beijing of unfair trade practices, criticised China's military build-up in the South China Sea and accused China of doing too little to pressure North Korea.

Some had questioned why Mr Trump had taken so long to call Mr Xi given that he had already spoken with more than a dozen world leaders.

Chinese observers also noted that Mr Trump had broken with his predecessors in not extending good wishes to the Chinese people on the occasion of last month's Lunar New Year holiday, before issuing of a belated greeting on Wednesday.

China claims Taiwan as its own territory and complained after Mr Trump upset decades of diplomatic precedent by talking by phone with Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen shortly after winning November's presidential election.

In December, Mr Trump said in an interview that he did not feel "bound" by the decades-old China policy unless the US could gain concessions in trade and other areas.

Washington has robust unofficial relations with Taiwan and provides it with arms to guard against Beijing's threat to use force to reunify.

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

Pacific Command spokesman Robert Shuford said on Friday that the "interaction" between a Chinese KJ-200 early warning aircraft and a US Navy P-3C plane took place on Wednesday in international airspace.

He did not say what was unsafe about the encounter but said the US plane was on a routine mission and operating according to international law.

China routinely complains about US military surveillance missions close to its southern island province of Hainan, which is home to numerous sensitive military installations.

A collision between a US EP-3 surveillance plane and a Chinese naval air force jet in April 2001 resulted in the death of the Chinese pilot and the 10-day detention of the US air crew by China.

AP

More on this topic

Priest who Trump asked ‘get me into heaven’ to be buried tomorrowPriest who Trump asked ‘get me into heaven’ to be buried tomorrow

Christopher R Hill: Trump’s departure will not cure America’s political malaiseChristopher R Hill: Trump’s departure will not cure America’s political malaise

Donald Trump refuses to pay security bill for Harry and MeghanDonald Trump refuses to pay security bill for Harry and Meghan

TP O’Mahony: God’s representative in the White HouseTP O’Mahony: God’s representative in the White House

More in this Section

Spacecraft bound for Mercury set to fly by EarthSpacecraft bound for Mercury set to fly by Earth

Lufthansa retires big jets and says air travel rebound could take yearsLufthansa retires big jets and says air travel rebound could take years

Prince Andrew accuser Virginia Giuffre is tested for Covid-19Prince Andrew accuser Virginia Giuffre is tested for Covid-19

Trumpet-playing Rio firefighter raises spirits by hitting the heightsTrumpet-playing Rio firefighter raises spirits by hitting the heights


Lifestyle

As online retailers report record sales in loungewear, classic cuffed sweatpants have become a hot ticket item. Already a go-to look for off-duty celebs, the humble sweatsuit cemented its status when Tom Ford showed 80s-inspired grey marl sportswear pieces in his autumn winter collection earlier this year.Fashion: don't sweat it!

Seeking inspiration for all that extra time at home? Use it to discover the art of cooking and baking with your children.Fun & Food: The family that cooks together...

W E DON’T have a large amount of activities to do right now. So why not get a larger mount? If those opening lines give you a headache, don’t worry — at least you weren’t hit on the head with a mace.GameTech: Bannerlord flies the flag for escapism

Our window on the world opens wide for tonight.Homes from Mayo, Tyrone and Cork tonight on RTÉ series Home of the Year

More From The Irish Examiner