China warns Trump ig­nor­ing one China pol­icy could hurt peace

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

Any change in US 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 yes­ter­day.

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 US could gain ben­e­fits from China in trade and other ar­eas.

Un­der the one-China pol­icy, the US 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.

Spokesman An Feng­shan said breach­ing the one-China prin­ci­ple “will se­ri­ously af­fect peace and sta­bil­ity across the Tai­wan Strait.” “The one-China pol­icy is an im­por­tant po­lit­i­cal foun­da­tion for re­la­tions be­tween China and the US,” An told re­porters. “If such a foun­da­tion is dis­turbed or un­der­mined, there can be no talk of a healthy and sta­ble devel­op­ment of US-China re­la­tions.”

Trump broke diplo­matic prece­dent by talk­ing on the phone with Tai­wanese Pres­i­dent Tsai Ing-wen on Dec. 2, dur­ing which the is­land’s leader con­grat­u­lated Trump on his elec­tion vic­tory. Then, this past week­end, Trump said he might use Amer­ica’s recog­ni­tion of Bei­jing as lever­age for gain­ing ad­van­tages in trade and other ar­eas.

That is plac­ing him per­ilously close to touch­ing on China’s bot­tom line that brooks no for­mal recog­ni­tion of Tai­wan or chal­lenge to its claim to sovereignty over the is­land. China’s re­sponse has thus far been fairly muted, mainly blam­ing Tsai for plac­ing the call.

The last ma­jor cri­sis over Tai­wan came in 1995, when China staged threat­en­ing war games and mis­sile tests near the is­land in re­sponse to then-pres­i­dent Lee Teng-hui’s visit to the US, which was seen by Bei­jing as a bid to so­lid­ify the is­land’s de-facto in­de­pen­dent sta­tus. The move was largely seen as back­fir­ing, with Lee win­ning the is­land’s first di­rect presidential elec­tion in 1996.

Wash­ing­ton re­sponded by putting two air­craft car­rier bat­tle groups on alert, one of which crossed the Tai­wan Strait, al­though China’s vast strides in military power in the years since would likely com­pli­cate such a move in the cur­rent era. —AP

BEI­JING: Tai­wan Af­fairs Of­fice spokesman An Feng­shan sig­nals for ques­tions from a jour­nal­ist at a rou­tine press con­fer­ence yes­ter­day. — AP

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