President-elect Donald Trump has signaled willingness to confront Beijing, questioning whether the US should keep its long-standing position that Taiwan is part of “one China”, according to a report on CNN.
“I fully understand the ‘one China’ policy, but I don’t know why we have to be bound by a ‘one China’ policy unless we make a deal with China having to do with other things, including trade,” Trump said on “Fox News” Sunday, December 11 (local time).
Trump had set off a diplomatic controversy when he took a call from Taiwan’s leader. The US recognizes Taiwan as part of China — and Chinese officials were furious over the first conversation in decades between a Taiwanese leader and a US President or President-elect, the report said.
Trump said Sunday he won’t hesitate to anger China until the country comes to the bargaining table on trade and severs ties with North Korea.
“I mean, look, we’re being hurt very badly by China with devaluation, with taxing us heavy at the borders when we don’t tax them, with building a massive fortress in the middle of the South China Sea, which they shouldn’t be doing, and frankly with not helping us at all with North Korea,” Trump said in the report.
“You have North Korea. You have nuclear weapons, and China could solve that problem, and they’re not helping us at all,” Trump said.
Trump has accused China of allegedly manipulating the value of its currency in order to give its products price advantages in the American market.
Trump has also called for much steeper tariffs on products imported from China — and then criticized US companies, including Boeing.
This could set off a trade war with Beijing that could close its market to US-made products.
Trump’s comments Sunday made clear he intended to force a new deal with China but hasn’t been clear whether he was ready to eliminate the “one China” policy that has been the cornerstone of diplomatic relations since President Richard Nixon went to the communist country.
The formula, enshrined in the documents that eventually led to the establishment of US relations with China, permits Beijing to regard Taiwan as a part of China and the US to sell the nationalist island arms to defend itself against the mainland, and has headed off a major US-China clash over the issue.
But Trump has bristled at the policy, ignoring it and provoking China before even taking office.
“I don’t want China dictating to me and this was a call put into me. I didn’t make the call, and it was a call, very short call saying ‘congratulations, sir, on the victory.’
“It was a very nice call. Short. And why should some other nation be able to say I can’t take a call. I think it actually would’ve been very disrespectful, to be honest with you, not taking it.”