Trump questions US ‘one China’ policy

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Washington, Dec 12 (IANS) President-elect Donald Trump has questioned whether the US should keep its long-standing position that Taiwan is part of “one China”, a media report said on Monday.

Trump on Sunday signalled a willingness to confront Beijing over the “one China” policy, indicating that he would not hesitate angering China until it comes to the bargaining table on trade and severs ties with North Korea, CNN reported.

“I fully understand the ‘one China’ policy, but I don’t know why we have to be bound by a ‘one China’ policy unless we make a deal with China having to do with other things, including trade,” Trump told Fox News.

Trump had set off a diplomatic controversy when the President-elect took a call from Taiwan leader Tsai Ing-wen.

The US recognises Taiwan as part of China, and Beijing was furious over the first conversation in decades between a Taiwan leader and a US President or President-elect.

“We’re being hurt very badly by China with devaluation, with taxing us heavy at the borders when we don’t tax them, with building a massive fortress in the middle of the South China Sea, which they shouldn’t be doing, and frankly with not helping us at all with North Korea,” Trump said.

“You have North Korea. You have nuclear weapons, and China could solve that problem, and they’re not helping us at all.”

Trump’s comments triggered a furious response from China’s state-run Global Times daily which described the President-elect as a “child” ignorant of foreign policy and ruled out negotiations on the “one China” issue.

“The ‘one China’ policy cannot be bought and sold, Trump only understands business and believes that everything has a price and that if he is strong enough he can buy and sell by force,” it said.

The daily warned that if Trump ditched the “one China” policy, it would spark “a real crisis”.

Trump has accused China of manipulating the value of its currency in order to give its products price advantages in the US market.

He has also called for much steeper tariffs on products imported from China and then criticised US companies, including Boeing, which pointed out that it could set off a trade war with Beijing.

Trump’s comments made clear that he intended to force a new deal with China, but it was not clear whether the President-elect was ready to eliminate the “one China” policy that has been the cornerstone of diplomatic relations since President Richard Nixon went to the country.

The documents led to the establishment of US relations with China, permits Beijing to regard Taiwan as a part of China and the US to sell the nationalist island arms to defend itself against Beijing.

Trump has bristled at the policy, ignoring it and provoking China before even taking office.

“I don’t want China dictating to me and this was a call put into me. I didn’t make the call, and it was a call, very short call saying ‘congratulations, sir, on the victory’.

“It was a very nice call. Short. And why should some other nation be able to say I can’t take a call. I think it actually would’ve been very disrespectful, to be honest with you, not taking it.”

Trump has alienated China’s Communist party leaders after declaring he was willing to abandon more than four decades of diplomatic understanding with the world’s second largest economy unless a fresh accord between the two sides could be struck.

–IANS

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