US president-elect refuses to commit to ‘One China’ policy

US President-elect Donald Trump

US President-elect Donald Trump has said that he will not commit to the 'One China' policy unless Beijing changes its currency and trade policies.

Trump, who has often questioned America’s commitment to the 'One China' policy in the China-Taiwan row, made the remarks in a wide-ranging interview with The Wall Street Journal on Friday.

Asked if he supported China's policy on Taiwan, Trump said, “Everything is under negotiation including ‘One China’.”

The 'One China' policy refers to the policy or the diplomatic acknowledgement that there is only one state called China, despite the existence of two governments – one in China and another in the island of Taiwan.  

Under the policy, the United States recognizes and has formal ties with the government in Beijing rather than Taiwan. China has considered Taiwan a breakaway province since a government was established there in 1949. Beijing believes the island will be reunified with the mainland one day.

Last month, Trump stirred tensions when he talked over the phone with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, an unprecedented move that angered Beijing.

Trump defended his decision on Friday, saying, "It would have been very rude not to accept the phone call,” from Taiwan’s president. The US president-elect has claimed that Tsai called him.

“We sold them $2 billion of military equipment last year. We can sell them $2 billion of the latest and greatest military equipment but we’re not allowed to accept a phone call,” he stated.

The conversation between Trump and Tsai was a first by a US president or president-elect since Washington cut ties with Taiwan in 1979 and committed to the 'One China' policy.

Despite trying to calm the tensions, the administration of President Barack Obama has also challenged the 'One China' policy by authorizing military deals with Taiwan.

On Friday, Trump also spoke about China’s currency policy. He said he wouldn’t declare China a currency manipulator on his first day in the White House, as he had promised. “I would talk to them first.”

“Certainly they are manipulators. But I’m not looking to do that,” he said.

Nevertheless, Trump slammed China’s currency policy. “Instead of saying, ‘We’re devaluating our currency,’ they say, ‘Oh, our currency is dropping.’ It’s not dropping. They’re doing it on purpose.”

“Our companies can’t compete with them now because our currency is strong and it’s killing us,” the billionaire lamented.

Trump has repeatedly accused China of devaluing yuan, a move that Washington says is done to favor Chinese exporters at the expense of their foreign competitors.

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