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Trump Administration Reaches out to China to Affirm “One-China” Policy

February 9th, 2017 Leave a comment Go to comments

So there we have it: the Trump administration has reached out to China to affirm America’s “One-China” policy.  According to this Washington Post report:

President Trump held a lengthy, “extremely cordial” telephone conversation with China’s President Xi Jinping late Thursday evening in Washington, and — in a move set to ease tensions between the two nations — agreed to honor the one-China policy, the White House said in a statement.

The one-China policy forms the bedrock of U.S.-China diplomatic ties, established by President Richard Nixon and Chinese leader Mao Zedong. It rules out independence and diplomatic recognition for the island of Taiwan.

But Trump has publicly called U.S. adherence to this policy into question, suggesting he would only commit to it once he evaluates China’s progress in addressing trade and currency concerns.

The two leaders discussed numerous topics and President Trump agreed, at the request of President Xi, to honor our ‘one China’ policy,” the White House statement said.

Representatives from both countries will engage in “discussions and negotiations on various issues of mutual interest,” the statement said.

“The phone call between President Trump and President Xi was extremely cordial, and both leaders extended best wishes to the people of each other’s countries,” it added.

“They also extended invitations to meet in their respective countries. President Trump and President Xi look forward to further talks with very successful outcomes.”

In December, following his election and before his transition, Trump made waves with a protocol-breaking telephone call with Taiwan’s leader, Tsai Ing-wen.

It was the first communication between leaders of the United States and Taiwan since 1979 and the product of months of preparation by Trump’s advisers, who advocated for a new strategy of engagement with Taiwan to rattle China.
As expected, China reacted sternly, but Trump publicly questioned whether the one-China policy was in the United States’ best interests.

He fired off provocative tweets about the Chinese — on currency manipulation, imports from the United States and its military buildup in the South China Sea.

Trump told the Wall Street Journal in a January interview, shortly before his inauguration, that he was open to shifting U.S. policy on China and Taiwan.

“Everything is under negotiation, including ‘One China,’ ” Trump told the newspaper.

The phone call to Xi came a day after Trump sent a letter wishing China a “prosperous Year of the Rooster” — sent 11 days after China celebrated its Lunar New Year festival.

The White House issued a statement saying Trump had “provided a letter” to Xi on Wednesday, thanking the Chinese leader for a congratulatory note he had sent on the U.S. president’s inauguration.

Trump wished the Chinese people a “happy Lantern Festival and prosperous Year of the Rooster” and said “he looks forward to working with President Xi to develop a constructive relationship that benefits both the United States and China,” according to the statement.

I had expected this as much.  Trump will bring a new refreshing set of perspectives to Washington, and he will re-examine a lot of things.

To the extent the U.S. want to re-negotiate on China over many aspects of its relationship with China – “currency manipulation,” “trade,” etc., so I think it is in the interest of China to keep an open mind and re-negotiate too.

Start with the one-China policy – it is at so many levels just a euphemism.   As Trump had twitted before, “Interesting how the U.S. sells Taiwan billions of dollars of military equipment but I should not accept a congratulatory call.”  Very true … what the f@$* is U.S. touting its “one-China” policy when it is selling billions of dollars of arms – not to say all the NGO money that flows there to “nurture” its “democracy” – to keep it separate?

As for currency manipulation, it China “agrees” to a higher exchange rate, would America follow through also and welcome Chinese companies to invest and hire and produce in the U.S. the way Trump seems to have welcomed Samsung also?

Chinese companies have been trying to do that for a while, but the U.S. gov’t has been against it. If the U.S. reverses its all pervasive suspicion against Chinese companies in U.S., employing U.S. workers, that would be a win-win.

Strategically Chinese and U.S. economies are complementary … if Trump means what he said in his inauguration address that “[w]e do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example for everyone to follow,” and seeks better relations with others with mutual respect as businesses do in a competitive marketplace, then I can only see win-win upsides for China and U.S. going forward…

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