Unsurprisingly, China is extremely concerned by the fact that US President-elect Donald Trump appears ready to use the United States’ long-standing acceptance of the “one China” policy as a bargaining chip to make better deals with Beijing.
At a regular press conference in Beijing, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said that the “one China” policy was the “political foundation” of any US-China ties, and warned that China was “seriously concerned” over Trump’s latest explosive comments, which could “badly affect” the relationship between the two countries.
“Upholding the ‘one China’ principle is the political basis for developing China-US ties. If this basis is interfered with or damaged, then the healthy development of China-US relations and bilateral cooperation in important areas is out of the question,” Geng said.
“We urge the incoming US administration and its leaders to fully recognize the sensitivity of the Taiwan question … [and] to properly deal with Taiwan-related matters in a prudent manner so as not to disrupt or damage the overall interests of the bilateral relationship.”
Yesterday, on “Fox News Sunday,” Trump was asked about his protocol-shattering phone call with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen earlier this month. While Trump surrogates had ridiculed the ensuing foreign policy panic, calling the conversation a mere “courtesy call,” the president-elect himself seemed to take a different stance on the issue of Taiwan.
“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 said.
He went on to accuse China of devaluing their currency to hurt American manufacturers, keeping their tarriifs too high on American goods, building a “massive fortress in the middle of the South China Sea,” and not doing enough to help solve the nuclear missile crisis in North Korea.
“I don’t want China dictating to me and this was a call put in to me. I didn’t make the call, and it was a call, very short call saying congratulations, sir, on the victory,” Trump said. “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’s apparent willingness to use the “one China” policy as a bargaining chip for trade deals would break with over 40 years of US foreign policy protocol. The “principle” that Taiwan was officially regarded as part of “one China” has been a crucial part of the framework governing US-China relations since they were re-established in 1972 by Richard Nixon and Mao Zedong.
Following, Trump’s phone call with Tsai, the White House declared that the US position on the “one-China policy had not changed, crediting it with creating stable and peaceful relations in the region. Last week, Tsai also tried to downplay the conversation by stating that it didn’t reflect a change in Washington’s cross-strait policy, explaining that all sides “see the value of stability in the region.”
Well, not all sides apparently.
Earlier today, the nationalist Party mouthpiece, the Global Times, published an editorial, calling Trump “as ignorant as a child” when it came to foreign policy, and warned that if the new president pulled away from the “one China” policy, then China could “offer support, even military assistance to US foes.”
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