One-China policy reaffirmed by US
White House reassures after Trump’s tweets raise concerns
President Barack Obama’s administration reaffirmed the United States’ one-China policy on Monday, following president-elect Donald Trump’s phone call with Taiwan leader Tsai Ing-wen on Friday and his China-related tweets on Sunday.
The US is committed to the one-China policy, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest reiterated on Monday. The policy has been in place for almost 40 years and has been aimed at promoting peace and stability in the Tai- wan Straits, Earnest said.
After criticism of the phone call by China and many foreign policy experts in the US, Trump tweeted on Sunday, touching on highly sensitive issues, including what he called China’s “devaluation of currency” and the South China Sea.
“I am not sure how that benefits the United States,” Earnest said of Trump’s latest actions. “I’m not sure how that benefits the United States’ relationship with Tai- wan. I am not sure how that benefits the Taiwanese people. I am not sure how that benefits the US relationship with China.”
US State Department deputy spokesman Mark Toner credited stable and peaceful cross-Straits relations since 1979 to the fact that the US has followed the one-China policy.
“That has not changed previous to or since the phone call by the president-elect,” he told the daily briefing on Monday.
Toner said that “it’s only through consistency and implementing this policy,
standing by this policy, (that) you have ... stable cross-Straits relations”.
The comments from the White House demonstrate that the actions by Trump not only caused outrage and caution from the Chinese government and people, but also go against Washington’s fundamental interests, Dong Chunling, a researcher with the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, said on Tuesday.
“China’s reaction reflected its confidence in the stability of China-US relations, its patience for Trump to get a better understanding of China policy, as well as its determination to defend the bottom line of the bilateral relationship,” Dong said.
Also on Monday, former US secretaries of state Madeleine Albright and Henry Kissinger expressed their support for the one-China policy.
“I have been impressed by the calm reaction of the Chinese leadership,” Kissinger told a program hosted by the National Committee on US-China Relations at the China-US Sky Club in New York on Monday night.
Kissinger recalled that Bill Clinton also tried to deviate from the established China policy at the beginning of his presidency. “But in two years’ time, he found that the policy reflected the common interests of both sides.”
Kissinger and Albright said the battle against terrorism could provide a bridge for improved relations between China and the US. The sharing of information in fighting and preventing terrorism provides an ideal stage for cooperation, they said.