Thursday, 15 December 2016

Playing the 'Trump' card against China

Update 17 Feb 2017: Kim and China playing Trump cards

Kim Jong-un has some guts. The North Korean leader’s foolhardiness apparently knows no bounds. Though baby faced, he is dangerous. He has only contempt for the United States. The maverick regime’s eccentric leader dismisses with a characteristic smirk US warnings of a tough response in the wake of every nuclear or missile test his country carries out. He conducted 24 such tests, including a suspected hydrogen bomb test, last year.

Last Sunday, in what is seen as a challenge to the new US President Donald trump, who is not even one month into his office, the impoverished but nuclear powered North Korea carried out an intermediate range missile test. It was the political equivalent of World Wrestling Entertainment’s all-time bad guy Roddy Piper’s pre-match taunt thrown at his opponent. Trump the opponent was, surprisingly, not provoked. There was no lunging forward to land a punch on the face. No head butt or camel-clutch stranglehold. Perhaps Trump is learning how to be president-like. Well, Trump is unpredictable, too. He has his own plans to deal with world issues. On Wednesday, in a move that is likely to propel the Middle East into further violence, he backed off the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian issue. Since surprises abound in the Trump presidency, his North Korea solution may have some out-of-the-box approach.

Last month the then President-elect Trump sounded tough when he reacted with exaggerated swagger to a threat by North Korea to test an intercontinental ballistic missile. “It won’t happen,” he roared in a tweet.

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Trump changes tack, backs 'one China' policy in call with Xi
A combination of file photos showing Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) at London's Heathrow Airport, October 19, 2015 and U.S. President Donald Trump posing for a photo in New York City, U.S., May 17, 2016. REUTERS/Toby Melville/Lucas Jackson/File Photos

U.S. President Donald Trump changed tack and agreed to honour the "one China" policy during a phone call with China's leader Xi Jinping, a major diplomatic boost for Beijing which brooks no criticism of its claim to self-ruled Taiwan.

Trump angered Beijing in December by talking to the president of Taiwan and saying the United States did not have to stick to the policy, under which Washington acknowledges the Chinese position that there is only one China and Taiwan is part of it.

A White House statement said Trump and Chinese President Xi had a lengthy phone conversation on Thursday night, Washington time.

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Trump Honors One-China Policy in Phone Call with Xi

The United States government remains committed to the one-China policy, US President Donald Trump assured his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in their first telephone call since Trump assumed office.

During the call on Friday, the two leaders also agreed to keep close contact and said they expected to meet each other at an early date, China Central Television reported.

After winning the election last year, Trump angered Beijing as he posted a tweet that seemed to question the one-China policy and he received a phone call from Taiwan leader Tsai Ing-wen.

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Trump tells Xi he’ll honor ‘One China’ policy

The White House says President Donald Trump told Chinese President Xi Jinping in a phone call tonight that the U.S. would honor Washington’s “one China” policy, which has been at the center of friction between the global powers since Trump’s election.

Trump “agreed, at the request of President Xi,” to honor the policy, the White House says.


Before taking office, Trump questioned Washington’s “one China policy,” which shifted diplomatic recognition from self-governing Taiwan to China in 1979. He said it was open to negotiation.

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Trump reaffirms 'one China' policy in call with China's Xi

President Donald Trump reaffirmed America's long-standing "one China" policy in a call with Chinese President Xi Jinping, dealing a victory to Beijing on an issue it considers nonnegotiable and possibly helping to ease uncertainty between the nations.

Trump's latest remarks, coming after he repeatedly suggested using the policy as leverage, appeared aimed at reassuring Beijing he would not seek to upend relations between the world's two-largest economies.

"This is an important step," said Bonnie Glaser, senior adviser on Asia at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. "This will now pave the way for the engagement of the U.S. and Chinese governments on a wide range of issues."

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Taiwan President Balancing US Ties With China Despite Line to Trump

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen is showing signs of steering a middle course between China and the United States, despite a unique connection with Donald Trump, to balance competing voter sentiments and reduce the risk of escalating anger in Beijing.

Tsai made a surprise call to Trump in December before he took office. But her government has made a series of statements over the past two weeks suggesting it wants no worsening of already strained relations with China.

“As far as Taiwan’s policy toward China, she’s been very consistent in showing goodwill, which has not been reciprocated by China,” said Ross Feingold, a Taipei-based analyst with an American political consultancy.

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Trump says 'One China' policy up for negotiation

US President-elect Donald Trump has said that the One China policy is up for negotiation, in yet another comment certain to irk Beijing.

In an interview published by the Wall Street Journal late Friday, Trump was specifically asked if he supported the "one China" policy on Taiwan that has underpinned U.S. relations with Beijing for decades, Trump told the Journal: "Everything is under negotiation including One China."

Trump irked Beijing when he took a congratulatory telephone call from Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen in early December shortly after his election victory. The move was considered a breach of the "One China" protocol since Washington switched diplomatic recognition to Taipei from Beijing in 1979. He further upset Beijing later by asking why the US had to adhere to the One China policy when the island is in fact the US big buyer of arms.

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Trump: One China Policy on Taiwan an Issue to Be Negotiated
Trump claims that the "One China" policy on Taiwan is up for negotiation and that he is not fully committed to it

US president-elect Donald Trump says the "One China" policy on Taiwan is up for negotiation and that he is not fully committed to it.

"Everything is under negotiation including One China," Trump stressed in a Friday interview with The Wall Street Journal.

Trump suggested that China is a currency manipulator, saying "They’re doing it [devaluating the currency] on purpose."

related: China Warns Trump: Flake on One China Policy and Beijing Will ‘Take Revenge’

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Beijing will ‘take revenge,’ break ties with US if Trump ditches one-China policy – state media

Should Donald Trump break the “one-China” policy after taking office, the Chinese people will call on the government to “take revenge,” Beijing’s unofficial mouthpiece warned shortly after Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen made a stopover in Houston.

“Trump is yet to be inaugurated, and there is no need for Beijing to sacrifice bilateral ties for the sake of Taiwan. But in case he tears up the one-China policy after taking office, the mainland is fully prepared,” the Communist party-owned Chinese newspaper Global Times said in an editorial on Sunday. “Beijing would rather break ties with the US if necessary. We would like to see whether US voters will support their president to ruin Sino-US relations and destabilize the entire Asia-Pacific region,” it added.

“If Trump reneges on the one-China policy after taking office, the Chinese people will demand the government to take revenge. There is no room for bargaining,” the Global Times concluded. On Sunday, Taiwanese leader Tsai Ing-wen, whom China does not recognize as legitimate, met with Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Texas Senator Ted Cruz during her stopover in Houston en route to Central America.

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Chinese State Media Warns Trump on One-China Policy

A state-run Chinese tabloid on Sunday warned President-elect Donald Trump of “revenge” if he fails to abide by its one-China policy. The warning, from Global Times, came as the Taiwanese president met with U.S. lawmakers despite strong objections from Beijing.

China has repeatedly warned Trump about adhering to the policy in recent weeks, stressing again and again that Taiwan is a part of China and not a sovereign nation. “Sticking to [the one China] principle is not a capricious request by China upon U.S. presidents, but an obligation of U.S. presidents to maintain China-U.S. relations and respect the existing order of the Asia-Pacific,” the newspaper wrote. “If Trump reneges on the one-China policy after taking office, the Chinese people will demand the government to take revenge.

There is no room for bargaining.” Trump, who vowed to take a hard line on China throughout his campaign, broke with diplomatic tradition after the election by accepting a phone call from Taiwan’s leader, a move that was later reported to have been planned for weeks in advance. The phone call infuriated Beijing and prompted numerous warnings about the one-China policy.

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Chinese state media warns of revenge if Trump ends one-China policy

State-run Chinese tabloid Global Times warned US President-elect Donald Trump that China would take "take revenge" if he reneged on the one-China policy, only hours after Taiwan's president made a controversial stopover in Houston.

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen met senior US Republican lawmakers during her stopover in Houston on Sunday en route to Central America, where she will visit Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador. Tsai will stopover on Jan. 13 in San Francisco on her way back to Taiwan. Beijing had asked Washington not to allow Tsai to enter the United States and that she not have any formal government meetings under the one China policy.

A photograph tweeted by Texas Governor Greg Abbott shows him meeting Tsai, with a small table between them adorned with the U.S., Texas and Taiwanese flags. Tsai's office said on Monday she also spoke by telephone with US senator John McCain, head of the powerful Senate Committee on Armed Services. Tsai also met Texas Senator Ted Cruz. "Sticking to (the one China) principle is not a capricious request by China upon US presidents, but an obligation of US presidents to maintain China-U.S. relations and respect the existing order of the Asia-Pacific," said the Global Times editorial on Sunday. The influential tabloid is published by the ruling Communist Party's official People's Daily.

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Chinese state tabloid warns Trump: End one-China policy & China will take revenge

State-run Chinese tabloid Global Times warned U.S. President-elect Donald Trump that China would "take revenge" if he reneged on the one-China policy, only hours after Taiwan's president made a controversial stopover in Houston.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen met senior U.S. Republican lawmakers during her stopover in Houston on Sunday en route to Central America, where she will visit Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala & El Salvador. Tsai will stop in San Francisco on Jan. 13, her way back to Taiwan.

China had asked the United States not to allow Tsai to enter or have formal government meetings under the one-China policy.

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Now who will be Trumped?

THE popular political parlour game running into the new year is what to expect from Donald Trump when he becomes United States President on Jan 20.

Not having expected him to be elected in the first place, the immediate reaction was calamity, calamity. Then an early dawn of hope that what is promised or threatened in a long presidential campaign is not or cannot be carried out in the cold light of day. After that, as the President-elect made his proposed Cabinet appointments and held court as no incoming President has done before, the mood swung back to despair.

What is constant is Trump will change things. It is the one clear message, not only in his presidential campaign but also in the book which is his statement of intent: Crippled America, How to Make America Great Again. Conventional wisdom is out. The establishment have failed and must be replaced.

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Will Trump get trumped

This is not a city overflowing with the holiday spirit. As the U.S. Congress heads home for the holidays, there’s a sense that something ominous lies over the horizon. People might try to avoid discussing the pending inauguration, on Jan. 20, of President-elect Donald Trump, but the topic rarely stays out of conversations for long.

At last week’s White House Christmas party for the press, reporters speculated about whether this might be the last such party for years to come. It’s difficult to imagine that Trump, no fan of the press, would host such an event, much less stand stoically with his wife Melania greeting each individual guest, as Barack and Michelle Obama did for eight years. One reporter joked that the next press Christmas party would be held at the recently opened Trump International Hotel down the street from the White House, and there would be a cash bar.

Of course, if the press Christmas party was the only precedent Trump and his team broke, no one would be too distraught. But Trump has so far shown such indifference to rules and norms, such a disregard for limits, and such unpredictability, that the prevailing mood among Democrats and Republicans alike is one of uncertainty and unease. But the concern goes beyond Washington: Many ordinary citizens in the United States and elsewhere genuinely fear the consequences of a Trump administration

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Trump versus China: the ‘madman’ strategy

“When two elephants fight against each other, the grass always suffers,” said Yu-Fang Lin of the National Policy Foundation, a Taiwan-based think tank, in an interview with The Washington Times. He was talking about the famous phone call between Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen and Donald Trump on Dec. 2. If the United States and China get into a military confrontation, Lin suggested, it is Taiwan that will be crushed.

Beijing was outraged by that phone call, the first direct conversation between an official of the Taiwan government and an American president or president-elect in almost four decades, but it kept its fury in check. Beijing made an official complaint to Washington, but Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi dismissed the call as a “petty trick” by Taiwan. Chinese leaders, as puzzled as everybody else by the Trump phenomenon, were soft-pedaling the issue and hoping against hope that the president-elect wasn’t looking for a fight.

The alternative was just too frightening to contemplate. Yu-Fang Lin called it the “madman” strategy: Trump making himself “appear to be very dangerous and hostile and very unpredictable to scare the (Chinese) leaders” into concessions on various issues. Within days, Trump gave Lin’s theory wings.

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Donald J. Trump ‏@realDonaldTrump 9 hours ago

We should tell China that we don't want the drone they stole back.- let them keep it!


Donald Trump accuses China of 'unpresidented' act over US navy drone
Donald Trump speaks at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania, on Thursday. Photograph: Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images

President-elect Donald Trump has risked further inflaming US relations with China, after he used Twitter on Saturday to accuse China of an “unpresidented [sic] act” in its seizing of an unmanned American submarine this week.

“China steals United States Navy research drone in international waters – rips it out of water and takes it to China in unpresidented act,” Trump said, misspelling “unprecedented”.

The tweet was later reissued with the correct spelling of “unprecedented”. The tweet containing the error was deleted.

China fights back against Trump and accuses America of 'hyping up' stolen drone controversy after President-elect called it an 'unpresidented act' in misspelled tweet


China has accused the US of 'hyping up' its seizure of a US Navy drone just hours after Donald Trump ramped up his rhetoric against the country.

Trump took to Twitter on early Saturday morning to lash out at China for seizing the unmanned drone two days ago in the South China Sea.

'China steals United States Navy research drone in international waters - rips it out of water and takes it to China in unpresidented (sic) act,' Trump wrote in a misspelled tweet.

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Donald Trump wades into diplomatic crisis with China again - but gets his spelling wrong with 'unpresidented' tweet
Donald Trump has risked pouring more fuel on America's diplomatic row with China with his latest tweet Credit: AP

Donald Trump yesterday accused China of "unpresidented" action in its capture of a US drone, risking inflaming a diplomatic crisis that both sides had been seeking to play down.

China said it would return the US Navy's unmanned underwater glider, which it seized on Thursday, "in an appropriate manner" after behind the scenes talks with the US, which had lodged a formal complaint over the seizure.

But it warned against the "hyping up" of the incident, which it said was "not beneficial", a few hours after the president-elect sent out a misspelled tweet accusing China of theft of the vessel.

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China hits back over seized US Navy drone after Donald Trump tweet

Beijing hit back in the diplomatic spat over its seizure of a US Navy drone in the South China Sea after Donald Trump claimed in a message on Twitter that China has stolen the device.

Chinese officials had earlier indicated there would be a “smooth” resolution of the diplomatic incident, but after the President-elect’s tweet, they accused Washington of “hyping up” the issue.

The drone's seizure, which followed Mr Trump's call with the president of Taiwan, was described as one of the most serious diplomatic incidents between the two nations in recent memory.

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Chinese government 'seriously concerned' by Trump stance on Taiwan

The Chinese government has said it is "seriously concerned" about Donald Trump's threat to change the US's stance on the recognition of Taiwan as an independent state.

The President-elect has suggested he could withdraw American support for the so-called "One China" principle unless Beijing makes concessions on other issues like trade.

The principle dictates that self-governing Taiwan is a part of China, and demands that any ally of Beijing has no official relations with Taipei.

Playing the Taiwan Card, Trump Changes the Game With China
By accepting a phone call, Donald Trump has disrupted relations with China. And the United States and the Chinese people may be the better for it.

The call, of course, was from Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen on Dec. 2, offering congratulations on Trump’s electoral victory. No U.S. president or president-elect is believed to have spoken to a Taiwanese president since 1979, when the United States broke relations with Taiwan and adopted the “one-China policy.”

That policy depends on several pretenses. While the United States has no formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, it does have de facto diplomatic relations, with each country having consular-type offices in the other.

related: Was Trump’s Taiwan Call a Shrewd Test?

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Obama tells Trump to 'think it through' on China

US President Barack Obama says he's advised Donald Trump to "think it through" before making any changes to the US approach to the "one-China" policy.

"The idea of One-China is at the heart of their conception as a nation. And so if you are going to upend this understanding, you have to have thought through what the consequences are because the China and the Chinese will not treat that," Obama said.

The US agreement with Beijing on the "one-China" policy became an issue after Trump broke decades of diplomatic protocol by having a telephone conversation with the Taiwan leader. Obama says he advised Trump to have his full team in place and be fully briefed on issues before considering any changes.

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U.S. President Obama says everyone worse off if U.S.-China ties break

U.S. President Barack Obama said on Friday no other bilateral relationship carries more significance than U.S.-China relationship, and if the U.S.-China relation breaks down, everyone becomes worse off.

"Given the importance of the relation between the United States and China, given how much is at stake, in terms of the world economy, national security... China's increasing role in international affairs, there's probably no bilateral relationship that carries more significance," said Obama here in his final news conference of the year. "There's also the potential if that relationship breaks down or goes into a full conflict mode that everybody's worse off," he added.

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump early this month received a telephone call from Taiwan's Tsai Ing-wen.

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Trump: ‘I Don’t Want China Dictating To Me’
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Asheville, North Carolina, U.S., September 12, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar

President-elect Donald Trump has stressed that China will not set the rules for his administration.

Since the president-elect broke with decades of diplomatic protocol and accepted a phone call from Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen last Friday, Trump and China have been trading shots. During an interview with Fox News Sunday morning, Trump criticized China’s policies and practices and again defended his unprecedented phone conversation with the Taiwanese president.

“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 explained.

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Donald Trump says 'I don't want China dictating to me'


Donald Trump has questioned whether the US should continue its support for the “One China” policy unless Beijing makes concessions on trade and others issues.

“I don’t want China dictating to me”, he said while defending his recent phone call with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen.

In an interview with Fox News on Sunday, he said: "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."

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One China, Many Trumps?
Panic, hope, fear and anger are all premature when it comes to Trump’s policy on Taiwan and China

If we needed one word to describe President-elect Donald J. Trump’s policies on Taiwan and China over the past week, that word would be uncertainty. From a tradition-breaking telephone conversation with Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen earlier this month, to his claim that the United States should not necessarily be bound by its longstanding “one China” policy, to his suggestion that Taiwan could be used as a bargaining chip for trade negotiations with China, Trump has both angered and reassured at once.

This apparent inconsistency has encouraged the wildest speculation and renewed interest in the dynamics of the Taiwan Strait, leading some to conclude that a new era of opportunity for Taiwan, the isolated democracy claimed by China as part of its territory, is at hand, and others warning that Trump’s adventurism or inexperience could severely harm Taiwan’s interests by compelling Beijing to retaliate against it.

Reacting to Trump’s interview with Fox News on Sunday, in which he made his comments about “one China” and Taiwan as a possible bargaining chip, China’s hypernationalistic Global Times warned darkly, “If Trump gave up the One China policy, publicly supported Taiwan independence and wantonly sold weapons to Taiwan, China would have no grounds to partner with Washington on international affairs and contain forces hostile to the US.” It continued, “In response to Trump’s provocations, Beijing could offer support, even military assistance to US foes.

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'One China' policy cannot be used for bargaining

On Sunday, US President-elect Donald Trump made some surprising remarks about the Taiwan question again. When interviewed by the Fox News network, he said, "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." From these remarks, Western media believes that Trump may use the policy to force China to make a compromise on trade.

It seems that such an analysis is credible. During a phone call with Taiwan leader Tsai Ing-wen, Trump called Tsai "Taiwan President," making many people suspect that the businessman-turned US President-elect will use the One China policy, the cornerstone of Sino-US relations, as a bargaining chip to peddle America's short-term interests.

With Trump's new remarks on Taiwan, many people marveled at Trump's commercial thinking and naivety for diplomacy. The One China policy has gone through the ages since the Richard Nixon administration. In addition, the policy has become a fundamental principle of international order. Leaders all around the world, including US leaders, understand the importance of the policy.


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Beijing says friendly Sino-US ties rely on one-China policy

Beijing warned on Monday that its ties with the United States would be jeopardised if Washington did not stick to its stance that Taiwan is part of China.

Those who seek to damage the “one China” principle and harm China’s core interests are “lifting a rock only to drop it on their feet”, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in comments carried on the Foreign Ministry’s website.

Speaking separately, ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said China was “extremely concerned” about Trump’s comments that Washington did not necessarily have to stick to the one-China policy.

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China warns Trump ignoring one-China policy could hurt peace
The Associated Press A vendor stands at his news stand with a Chinese news magazine fronting a photo of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and a headline "Relations of Great Powers" are seen displayed for sale in Beijing

Any change in U.S. policy favoring formal recognition of Taiwan will "seriously" damage peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and undermine relations between Beijing and Washington, a Chinese government spokesman said Wednesday.

The comments from the Cabinet's Taiwan Affairs Office follow President-elect Donald Trump's remarks over the weekend that he didn't feel "bound by a one-China policy" unless the U.S. could gain benefits from China in trade and other areas.

Under the one-China policy, the U.S. recognizes Beijing as China's government and maintains only unofficial relations with Taiwan, a former Japanese colony which broke from the Chinese mainland amid civil in 1949.

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CHINA WARNS TRUMP: Cooperation is 'out of the question' if One China policy is changed

China expressed "serious concern" on Monday after U.S. President-elect Donald Trump said the United States did not necessarily have to stick to its long-held stance that Taiwan is part of "one China", calling it the basis for relations.

Trump's comments on "Fox News Sunday", questioning nearly four decades of U.S. policy, came after he prompted a diplomatic protest from China over his decision to accept a telephone call from Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen on Dec. 2.

China's Foreign Ministry said cooperation was "out of the question" if Washington could not recognize Beijing's core interest on Taiwan, indicating it would reject any effort by Trump to use the issue as a bargaining chip in a long list of commercial and security problems facing the two countries.

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The ‘One China’ policy

What is the ‘One China’ policy? - It is the diplomatic acknowledgement of the Chinese position that there is only one China in the world and Taiwan is a part of that China. Under the policy, the US has formal ties with China rather than the island of Taiwan, which China sees as a breakaway province to be reunified with the mainland one day.

As a part of the policy, Washington maintains a robust, non-official relationship with Taiwan, including continued arms sales to the island. The policy of acknowledging China’s position on this issue is not only a key cornerstone of Sino-US relations, it is also a fundamental bedrock of Chinese policy-making and diplomacy.

Although Taiwan’s government claims it is an independent country officially called the “Republic of China”, any country that wants diplomatic relations with mainland China must break official ties with Taipei. It has resulted in Taiwan’s diplomatic isolation from the international community.

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China flies nuclear bomber over South China Sea as a 'message' to Donald Trump

Donald Trump’s direct contact with Taiwan’s leader broke with decades of diplomatic practice Wikimedia

China flew a nuclear-capable bomber outside its borders in a show of force less than a week before US President-elect Donald Trump’s phone call with the president of Taiwan, it has been reported.

The 10-minute telephone call with President Tsai Ing-wen was the first by a US president-elect or president since President Jimmy Carter switched diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China in 1979, acknowledging Taiwan as part of ‘One China’. It led to protests from Beijing.

The Xian H-6 bomber flew along the disputed 'nine-dash line' around the South China Sea, US officials told Fox News, passing over a number of disputed islands. The officials said it was designed to send a message to the incoming administration.

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Passing a Chinese Maritime 'Trump Test'


If the past is any guide, China may test the new administration early on. Beijing's “maritime militia” could play an important part.

China’s Leninist leadership has rightly been termed the “high church of realpolitik.” Beijing’s leaders believe that even small changes in foreign leaders, correlation of forces, or the relative balance of power have important significance. If they appear in flux, China probes for opportunities. If meeting minimal or manageable resistance, it then pushes further to gain ground. Given the particular uncertainty concerning President-elect Donald Trump’s outlook and policies, and Beijing’s indignation at his statements already regarding both mainland China and Taiwan, he may even face probing without the typical “grace period” arguably accorded his predecessors. How Trump handles such pressure will reverberate across the Asia-Pacific and around the world.

In recent years, China has tested each new American president. The past two faced an early challenge: George W. Bush with increasingly aggressive aircraft intercepts that triggered the April 2001 EP-3 crisis, Barack Obama with the March 2009 Impeccable incident. China appears to engineer tensions or activities to assess a president’s position in an area of its interest and to attempt to alter his decision-making to Beijing’s preferences. While motivations are hard to prove, Trump and his team must certainly prepare for the possibility that at some point Beijing—having never “forgotten” whatever statements and actions may accumulate despite its objections—will push back in a manner that effectively poses a test.

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Trump signals the end of 'Made in China'

A female Chinese worker reads a newspaper at a factory in China's Sichuan province

Various news reports have recently suggested that Hon Hai Precision Industry, the Taiwanese contract manufacturer of Apple products, is considering shifting production from China to the U.S. The speculation is nothing new. But this is the first time it has reared its head since Donald Trump won the U.S. presidential election.

The president-elect's campaign-trail threats of slapping heavy tariffs on Chinese exports have brought something new to the equation.

On Nov. 18, the Nikkei Asian Review reported the move from Taipei, citing sources close to the matter. In June, Apple allegedly asked Hon Hai to shift production of the iPhone to the U.S. With the campaign in full swing, the Republican presidential candidate was pulling no punches in his criticism of Apple for outsourcing work to China.

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'Serious Concern' in Beijing at Trump's Threat to End 'One-China' Policy

China expressed "serious concern" Monday after President-elect Donald Trump suggested he might tear up the basis for decades of bilateral relations between Washington and Beijing.

Trump said Sunday that he could do away with the so-called "one-China" policy — an agreement by the United States to effectively side with China in its sovereignty dispute with the self-proclaimed republic of Taiwan. This brought a stinging rebuke from Beijing.

"China expresses serious concern on this subject," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters. "If the [one China policy] is compromised or interfered with, any sound and steady development in China-U.S. relations and cooperation in various fields is out of the question."

Related: Trump Faults China, But Calls for 'Mutual Respect'

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Trump a wild card in cross-strait tensions

Inadvertently or not, US president-elect Donald Trump’s 10-minute phone call with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on December 2 has upended decades of carefully observed American diplomatic tradition in managing a delicate trilateral relationship.

Observers remain divided over whether Trump’s groundbreaking conversation with Tsai was a well-calculated move in response to Beijing’s hardline approach towards Taipei or just a diplomatic blunder. But it’s not the first time in the past four decades that the fragile balance in the Taiwan Strait has been shaken up by an unconventional leader in Washington.

On the eve of the signing of a historic joint statement by Beijing and Washington on August 17, 1982, US president Ronald Reagan ordered America’s envoy in Taipei to give Taiwanese president Chiang Ching-kuo his personal reassurances about the island’s security.

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Trump talks Taiwan call, questions 'one China'

President-elect Donald Trump questioned in an interview broadcast Sunday whether the United States should continue its "one China" policy unless Beijing makes concessions on trade and other issues.

In an interview with Fox News, Trump commented on a phone conversation earlier this month with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen that had fallen subject to intense media scrutiny.

"I heard the call was coming probably an hour or two before. I fully understand the 'one China' policy, but I don't know why we have to be bounded by a 'one China' policy unless we make a deal with China having to do with other things, including trade," he said.

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Analyst calls for pressure on Trump after one-China policy comments

A Chinese analyst urged China to make US president-elect understand the importance and complexity of Sino-US ties and prevent him from being manipulated by some conservative forces after Trump questioned whether the US should continue its "one-China policy" Sunday unless Beijing makes concessions on trade and other issues.

"I don't want China dictating to me," Trump said as he made a vehement defense of his recent phone conversation with the Taiwan leader.

"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," he added in the interview on Fox News Sunday.

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Trump’s tweets plunge China-US ties into turmoil

Hardly had the prescient nonagenarian Dr. Kissinger left Beijing after promising top Chinese leaders of his intention to work on US-China relational stability when President-elect Trump’s phone conversation with Taiwanese leader Tsai Ing-wen and his subsequent, stridently provocative tweets plunged the most important bilateral relationship into considerable turmoil.

Of course, the turmoil is not comparable to the infamous 1993 Yinhe incident in which an imperious US forced a placatory China into allowing its ship to be inspected. Nor is it as risk-laden as the 2000 collision between a US Navy EP-3 spy plane flying bellicosely on the very edge of China’s frontier and a Chinese PLA Navy J-8 in which Chinese pilot Wang Wei was killed and on which China took a more spirited stand. Yet, Trump’s conversation with Tsai is non-trivial because no American president or president-elect has done this since 1979.

As if the phone-call was not enough, hot on the heels of the phone call Trump followed up with some grating tweets: “Did China ask us if it was OK to devalue their currency making it hard for our companies to compete, heavily tax our products going into their country (the US doesn’t tax them) or build a massive military complex in the middle of the South China Sea? I don’t think so.” That the Chinese renminbi has actually appreciated and the US taxes Chinese imports do not seem to matter much to Trump.

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Trump: US doesn't 'have to be bound' by 'one China' policy

President-elect Donald Trump again signaled Sunday a willingness to confront Beijing, questioning whether the United States should keep its long-standing position that Taiwan is part of "one China."

"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 on "Fox News Sunday."

Trump had set off a diplomatic controversy when he took a call from Taiwan's leader. The United States recognizes Taiwan as part of China -- and Chinese officials were furious over the first conversation in decades between a Taiwanese leader and a US President or President-elect.

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Trump: US not bound by 'one China' policy
Donald Trump has questioned whether the US must be bound by the view Taiwan is part of "one China"

US President-elect Donald Trump has questioned whether the US has to be bound by its longstanding position that Taiwan is part of "one China" and has brushed aside Beijing's concerns that he accepted a phone call from Taiwan's president.

"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 on an interview with Fox News Sunday.

The congratulatory call that Trump accepted from Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen was the first such contact with Taiwan by a US president-elect or president since President Jimmy Carter switched diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China in 1979, acknowledging Taiwan as part of "one China."

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Trump: US not necessarily bound by ‘one China’ policy
Donald Trump has questioned Washington's long-standing policy on "one China". Photo: Reuters

The United States doesn’t necessarily have to stick to its long-standing position that Taiwan is part of “one China”, president-elect Donald Trump said in an interview aired on Sunday.

“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.

Questioning nearly four decades of policy in a move likely to antagonize Beijing, Trump also said that it isn’t up to Beijing to decide whether he should take a call from Taiwan’s leader, Reuters reports.

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Trump has shaken up decades of diplomacy with 4 phone calls
The calls have been somewhat unorthodox.

Trump spoke with President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan last week, sparking an uproar considering it marked the first time a US president has directly spoken with Taiwan's leadership in more than 30 years.

Some experts worried the move could strain US relations with China. The US suspended formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan in 1979 after establishing a One China position in an effort to establish diplomatic channels with Beijing.

Around the same time, Trump spoke to the leaders of Pakistan, Kazakhstan, and the Philippines, and those countries released readouts that were striking in their detail and candor.

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Donald Trump hints US 'One China' policy could end
Donald Trump ruffled feathers in Beijing by speaking to Taiwan's leader in a phone call

President-elect Donald Trump has questioned whether the US should continue its "One China" policy.

US policy since 1979 has respected China's stance on Taiwan, which it sees as a breakaway province.

But Mr Trump said that without concessions from Beijing on trade and other issues, he did not see why that should continue.

related: What is the 'One China' policy?

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Trump Suggests Using Bedrock China Policy as Bargaining Chip
President-elect Donald J. Trump last week in Columbus, Ohio. Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times

President-elect Donald J. Trump, defending his recent phone call with Taiwan’s president, asserted in an interview broadcast on Sunday that the United States was not bound by the One China policy, the 44-year diplomatic understanding that underpins America’s relationship with its biggest rival.

Mr. Trump, speaking on Fox News, said he understood the principle of a single China that includes Taiwan, but declared, “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.”

“I mean, look,” he continued, “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.”

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Mixed Signals on China: What’s Trump’s Strategy?
President-elect Donald Trump recently has sent mixed signals to China, and there may be a strategy behind them, according to Jacques deLisle, a University of Pennsylvania law and political science professor, and director of the University’s Center for East Asian Studies. Trump created controversy in China last week by placing a call to Taiwan’s president, but soon after named a friend of Chinese President Xi Jinping as the next U.S. ambassador to China.

While China-bashing was a prominent theme in Trump’s election campaign, he may emerge as business-friendly with that country, predicted Ann Lee, an adjunct professor of economics and finance at New York University and an expert on China’s economic relations.

The two discussed Trump’s recent moves regarding China and their implications on the Knowledge@Wharton show on Wharton Business Radio on SiriusXM channel 111

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How China will respond to Trump
How Trump will erase Obama's foreign policy

Here’s the scenario: Washington suddenly makes an unusual move in Asia that China doesn’t like. Beijing’s public response is measured, but it works behind the scenes to undermine US-led diplomacy. After a few months, Beijing cools off and resumes its cooperation.

A possible future historical account of last week’s much-publicized phone call between Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen and President-elect Donald Trump? Nope. It’s a story that already took place this year.

In July, reacting to North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests, Washington and Seoul announced their intention to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (anti-missile) system on South Korean soil. China’s response was swift. After some nuanced foreign ministry statements came the real reaction — and in an arena the Obama administration considers its forte: multilateral diplomacy.

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It takes a Trump to stand up to China

There’s an old expression that talk is cheap. However, President-elect Trump’s phone call with Taiwan’s President, Tsai-ing Wen, showed that a few words were enough to make Beijing stand up and take notice.

Trump’s phone call with President Tsai comes on the heels of another bout of Chinese aggression aimed at Taiwan. The Chinese military seized nine armored vehicles in Hong Kong that were en route to Singapore. This was retaliation for growing ties between the city-state and Taipei.

From turning a blind eye to currency manipulation to merely issuing press releases in the face of territorial aggression, the Obama administration has allowed China to become increasingly dominant in Asia. Donald Trump, who has been accused of everything from being an isolationist to a reckless amateur, may be the one to save that post-World War II order.

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Taiwan Preps for Closer US Cooperation After Trump Phone Call
Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen speaks with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump through a speaker phone in Taipei, Taiwan. (Taiwan Presidential Office via AP)

China and the United States are sniping at each other over President-elect Donald Trump’s phone call last week with the president of Taiwan, but the exchange of hard words between them has largely missed Taiwan itself, and the island may ultimately gain from long-term closer contact with Washington.

That afterglow from the December 2 phone call between Trump and Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen could ease Taiwan’s diplomatic isolation, bolster trade ties and give it a new edge in military defense against Beijing – its most likely foe in any conflict.

“I think from the outset (the call with Trump) is good for Taiwan,” said Shane Lee, political scientist at Chang Jung Christian University in Taiwan. “Tsai Ing-wen will have better access to the White House or to the administration in general. In what way, it’s hard to say. When Trump steps into the White House, he will have to talk with his advisers.”

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China 'sends message to Trump' by flying nuclear-capable bomber over South China Sea for the first time since The Donald's controversial phone call with Taiwan's leader

China flew a long-range bomber capable of carrying nuclear weapons over the South China Sea in recent days, according to US officials.

The move appears to be Beijing's way of flexing its military muscles in a worrying show of force that officials in Washington say is a message to President-elect Donald Trump, Fox News reported on Friday.

For the first time since Trump upended decades of diplomatic protocol and spoke on the phone with the leader of Taiwan, China flew aircraft over an area that includes disputed islands which it claims as its own.

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Trump Rejects One-China Policy on Taiwan

US President-elect Donald Trump on Sunday said he will not be bound by the One-China policy regarding relations with Taiwan.

He stressed the conversation was initiated by the Taiwanese side and involved Tsai's brief congratulations on his electoral victory.

The president-elect reiterated his recurrent criticism of China's alleged currency manipulation, as well as its activities in the disputed South China Sea and its passive stance on the North Korean nuclear threat.

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Trump questions 'One China' policy, says Beijing can't dictate

US President-elect Donald Trump today questioned the relevance of continuing the "One-China" policy if Beijing refuses to make any concessions on trade, making it clear that the Communist nation can't "dictate" him.

The US since 1979 has respected China's stance on Taiwan, which it sees as a breakaway province. But Trump said without concessions from China, he did not see why it should continue.

"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.

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Calming the Mainstream Media’s Trump-China Hysteria

Two huge stories have dominated the media over the past week, and they’re that Trump took a congratulatory phone call from Taiwan’s leader and that he fired off some unfriendly Tweets directed against China.

Both of these stories obviously intersect by telling the world a lot about what the future of American-Chinese relations might entail under the incoming Trump Administration, but we need to be careful not to let the MSM lead us astray with disinformation and negatively intentioned speculation.

There’s nothing wrong with prognosticating about important topics such as how the US will behave towards China under Trump, but it’s another to outright lie and either directly say or misleadingly infer that Trump was the one who called Taiwan’s leader. He didn’t, he just accepted a phone call from her, though it was the first time since the US recognized the One China policy in 1979 that the President-elect himself did this instead of an aide. This doesn’t mean that Trump is departing from that policy, but just that he won’t shy away from playing the Taiwan card in reaching grander and more holistic deals with China in the future.

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Trump: US doesn't 'have to be bound' by 'one China' policy

President-elect Donald Trump again signaled Sunday a willingness to confront Beijing, questioning whether the United States should keep its long-standing position that Taiwan is part of "one China."

"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 on "Fox News Sunday."

Trump had set off a diplomatic controversy when he took a call from Taiwan's leader. The United States recognizes Taiwan as part of China -- and Chinese officials were furious over the first conversation in decades between a Taiwanese leader and a US President or President-elect.

read more

Trump call a tempest in a teapot

A tempest in a teapot hit the world on Dec. 2.

President Tsai Ing-wen talked with President-elect Donald Trump of the United States for 10 minutes. It was a major break with Washington's China policy, elating Tsai's ruling Democratic Progressive Party and triggering a jittery protest from Beijing. Of course, tongues started wagging around the world and political gossip has since continued unabated.

What the pair talked about, according to the official press releases, wasn't shocking at all. They noted the "close economic, political and security ties" between Taiwan and the United States. Trump congratulated Tsai on her election victory last Jan. 16 and Tsai likewise gave Trump kudos for his upset in the U.S. presidential race

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Merkel says Germany will stick to one-China policy

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says that her country, Europe's biggest economic power, won't be changing its policy on China and Taiwan after President-elect Donald Trump raised questions about the future U.S. stance.

Merkel was asked Monday whether she, like Trump, would be prepared to speak to Taiwan's president and what Trump's recent comments on China mean for Europe. She replied: "We continue to stand by the one-China policy and we will not change our position."

The one-China policy means recognizing Beijing as China's capital and maintaining only unofficial relations with Taiwan. Trump said over the weekend he wouldn't feel "bound by a one-China policy."


Trump tweets conversation with Taiwanese leader but not Singapore’s

America’s President-Elect Donald Trump yesterday (1 Dec) tweeted about the phone call he had from Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen. The call, is believed to be the first between a US president or president-elect and a leader of Taiwan since diplomatic relations between Washington and the island were cut in 1979.

Trump also received a call from Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong yesterday. Mr Lee writing in his Facebook said that the call was to congratulate him on winning the US presidential elections and to invite him and his family to visit Singapore.

But Trump’s phone call with with Tsai was more tweet-worthy than his conversation with Lee because while Singapore has had close relationship with the ruling elites in Washington under three Prime Ministers, Taiwan’s leaders have not had direct contact with their US counterparts since 1979.

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The ‘One China’ policy

With US President-elect Donald Trump hinting that the "One China" policy could be questioned, the BBC explains this hugely sensitive diplomatic tightrope

What is the ‘One China’ policy? - It is the diplomatic acknowledgement of the Chinese position that there is only one China in the world and Taiwan is a part of that China. Under the policy, the US has formal ties with China rather than the island of Taiwan, which China sees as a breakaway province to be reunified with the mainland one day.

As a part of the policy, Washington maintains a robust, non-official relationship with Taiwan, including continued arms sales to the island. The policy of acknowledging China’s position on this issue is not only a key cornerstone of Sino-US relations, it is also a fundamental bedrock of Chinese policy-making and diplomacy.

Although Taiwan’s government claims it is an independent country officially called the “Republic of China”, any country that wants diplomatic relations with mainland China must break official ties with Taipei. It has resulted in Taiwan’s diplomatic isolation from the international community.

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Congratulations, Trump. Welcome to hell

Dear Mr. Trump

You won. Welcome to hell.

And to think, I thought you’d become president when hell froze over.

Now that the election is finally behind us, may I ask a tiny question: Why did you want this job? Was it on your bucket list? After so many square miles of golf courses, trophy wives, gilt mirrors and crystal chandeliers, was there nothing left to mess with?


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