Trump balks again at committing to ‘one China’ policy

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has said that the “one China” policy is “up for negotiation,” in yet another comment certain to irk Beijing.

In an interview published by the Wall Street Journal late Friday, Trump was specifically asked if he supported the “one China” policy that has underpinned U.S. relations with Beijing for decades. Trump responded by saying that “everything is under negotiation including ‘one China.'”

The U.S. president-elect had already ratcheted up tensions with Beijing by accepting congratulatory telephone call from President Tsai Ing-wen shortly after his election victory in early December.

Trump’s willingness to engage directly with Tsai was considered by Beijing to be a breach of the “one China” policy, which the U.S. has adhered to since switching diplomatic recognition to Taipei from Beijing in 1979.

He caused further upset in the aftermath of the call by asking why the U.S. had to adhere to the “one China” policy, given Washington’s role as a major arms supplier to Taiwan.

In the interview, Trump again said: “We sold them (Taiwan) US$2 billion of military equipment last year. We can sell them US$2 billion of the latest and greatest military equipment but we’re not allowed to accept a phone call. First of all it would have been very rude not to accept the phone call.”

During his election campaign Trump said he would label China a currency manipulator on the first day of taking office.

The Chinese yuan has fallen steadily against the U.S. dollar in recent years, with China accused of deliberately suppressing the value of its currency to make the country’s exports more competitive.

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