China protests to US over Trump-Taiwan call
China on Saturday lodged a protest with the US over President-elect Donald Trump’s unprecedented telephone talk with Taiwanese leader Tsai Ing-wen, asking Washington to honour its commitment for One-China policy.
“China has lodged solemn representations with the US, urging the US to honour its commitment to the One-China policy,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said on Saturday.
“We have taken note of the relevant reports and made solemn representations about it to the relevant US side. It must be pointed out that there is only one China in the world. Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory,” he said.
The White House on Saturday, meanwhile, reaffirmed its backing for the One-China principle.
“There is no change to our longstanding policy on cross-Strait issues. We remain firmly committed to our ‘One-China’ policy based on the three Joint Communiques and the Taiwan Relations Act. Our fundamental interest is in peaceful and stable cross-Strait relations.,” National Security spokeswoman Emily Horne said.
Shuang said the Government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is the sole legitimate government representing China, which is a fact recognised by the international community.
The One-China principle is the political foundation of Sino-US relations, he said.
“We urge the relevant parties in the US to abide by the commitment to the One-China policy and abide by the principles of the three Sino-US joint communiqué’s, and to handle the Taiwan issue with caution and care to avoid unnecessarily interfering with the overall situation of Sino-US relations,” he said in comments posted on the Foreign Ministry website.
Geng’s appeal to “relevant parties” came after reports that Trump bypassed US State Department in talking to Tsai.
Apparently the call came from the Taiwanese President, who is adversely viewed by China as she was elected early this year on anti-China platform.
Earlier on Saturday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi played down Trump’s telephone talk with Tsai, dismissing it as a “small trick by Taiwan” that cannot change the One-China framework or damage Sino-US ties.
“I do not think it will change the One-China policy that the US government has insisted on applying over the years,” Wang said, Hong Kong-based Phoenix TV reported.
“The One-China policy is the cornerstone of the healthy development of China-US relations and we hope this political foundation will not be interfered with or damaged,” Wang said after Trump spoke to Tsai, a striking break with decades of US diplomatic practice not to directly speak with Taiwan leader.
While Trump’s call caught China by surprise, Wang’s quick reaction played down expectations of a strong reaction from Beijing which wants to establish full contacts with Trump administration after he formally takes over power next month.
Like most of the countries in the world, US too pursued a so-called “One-China” policy since 1979, when it shifted its diplomatic recognition by formally recognising People’s Republic of China (PRC) instead of Taiwan which broke off with mainland in 1949 after the formation of the PRC.
However, the US continues to maintain low-key contacts with Taiwan including supplying military hardware to it.
China is trying to open up its channels with Trump as President Xi Jinping on Friday met former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger who is widely regarded as part of back channel diplomacy between both the countries.
In his meeting with Kissinger, Xi said China hopes for sustained, healthy and stable ties with the US.
He said the mutual benefits of relations between the two countries outweigh their differences, and China is willing to work with the US for a smooth transition following last month’s presidential election.
Xi said China and the US should continuously promote the new type of major power relations, and strengthen their coordination on international affairs.
Kissinger, a regular visitor to China, said the US-China relationship is important to the two countries, as well as the world as a whole. He hoped he can keep playing an active role in boosting the relationship.
“As a trailblazer for China-US ties, Kissinger paid a secret visit to China in 1971 which paved way for the establishment of China-US diplomatic ties in 1979,” state-run Xinhua said in its report on Xi-Kissinger meeting.
A statement from Trump’s transition team said he spoke with Tsai, who offered her congratulations. Trump tweeted later: “The President of Taiwan CALLED ME today to wish me congratulations on winning the Presidency. Thank you!”
The Taiwanese presidential office also issued a statement saying Trump and Tsai discussed issues affecting Asia and the future of US relations with Taiwan.