(TibetanReview.net, Dec13, 2016) – China has expressed “serious concern” that its relations with the USA might be “badly affected” due to President-elect Donald Trump’s remarks in a television interview over the weekend that he did not feel bound by Beijing’s one-China policy without some quid pro quo. Geng Shuang, a spokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry, said Dec 12 that the “one China” policy was the “political foundation” of any Sino-American ties, reported AP Dec 12.
Trump had on Dec 2 accepted a congratulatory message from Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen. It drew a rebuke from China. China’s Foreign Minister Mr Wang Yi had on Dec 3 described the incident as “just a small trick by Taiwan”, expressing belief that there would be no change in US policy toward China.
China requires all countries dealing with it to recognize that there is only one China, with Taiwan, like Tibet, being a part of it. In 1979, US President Jimmy Carter switched diplomatic recognition from Taiwan (officially known as the Republic of China), to (the People’s Republic of) China.
In his Fox News Sunday television interview, Trump said, “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.”
“President-elect Trump is signaling a tougher position on China, showing a willingness to link economic and geopolitical issues in ways previous presidents were cautious about,” Leif-Eric Easley, an assistant professor of international studies at Ewha University in Seoul was quoted as saying.
While China’s official reaction was somewhat cautious, its state-run media issued ominous threats of dire consequences in case Trump would act on his remarks when he becomes President.
An editorial in Global Times, which is run by China’s party mouthpiece People’s Daily, advised Trump “to listen clearly, the One China policy cannot be traded”. It wanted China to ” wage resolute struggle against [Trump],” made clear that China “cannot be bullied”, and that China would have no reason to “put peace above using force to take back Taiwan” if Trump moved away from the nearly four-decade US policy that was dictated by China.
Trump has made clear the issues on which a new deal for the US to adhere to the one China policy could remain. “We are 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,” PTI Dec 12 quoted him as saying.
Trump was further quoted as saying: “Frankly, they’re not helping us at all with North Korea. You have North Korea, you have nuclear weapons, and China could solve that problem. And they’re not helping us at all. So, I don’t want China dictating to me.”