Chinese President Xi Jinping has raised concerns with his American counterpart, Donald Trump, regarding “some negative factors” affecting Sino-American relations.
In a telephone conversation with US President Donald Trump on Monday and before setting off for Russia, President Xi enumerated several factors adversely affecting the Beijing-Washington ties.
Xi expressed Beijing’s displeasure with the recent approval by the US to sell $1 billion worth of arms to Taiwan, a self-ruled island that China considers part of its territory.
The US State Department approved the massive arms sales on Thursday.
Xi told Trump that his government expected Washington to continue managing relations on the basis of the “One China” principle, i.e. recognizing Chinese sovereignty over Taiwan.
President Trump, who had previously questioned the “One China” policy, has reassured President Xi of continued US commitment to the practice. Trump has also more recently sought to court the Chinese president, including by inviting him and his wife to his private estate in Florida in May.
In the Monday telephone conversation, Xi also discussed the US sanctions against a Chinese bank over its dealings with North Korea.
The US Treasury Department imposed new sanctions on the China-based Bank of Dadong and several Chinese nationals on Thursday for having “illicit” financial activities with North Korea.
The recent sailing of a US destroyer within the 12-nautical-mile territorial limit of an island claimed by China in the South China Sea was also another issue raised by the Chinese president.
The maneuver by the US guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem was earlier denounced by Beijing as a “provocation.”
Xi also expressed his opposition to the US deployment of an advanced missile system on South Korea. He warned that China and Russia would take “necessary measures” either together or independently to protect their interests with regard to the deployment of the system, according to Xinhua.
“The US deployment of an advanced anti-missile system in South Korea gravely harms the strategic security interests of China, Russia, and other countries in the region,” Xinhua quoted Xi as having told Trump.
“Beijing and Moscow are steadfastly opposed to the THAAD deployment and seriously suggest that relevant countries stop and cancel the installation,” he added, referring to the missile system, the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), by its acronym.
Both China and Russia have repeatedly voiced their opposition to the deployment and argued that the controversial missile system disrupts the regional strategic balance.
South Korea decided to host the missile system last year to deter perceived threats from North Korea. The US opposes North Korea’s missile and military nuclear activities, which Pyongyang says act as a deterrence against potential invasion by its adversaries.