President Donald Trump has agreed to adhere to the long-standing one-China policy, despite his previous statements.
Trump called Chinese President Xi Jinping late Thursday night to discuss the bilateral relationship. During the “lengthy conversation,” Trump “agreed, at the request of President Xi, to honor our ‘One China’ policy,” an official White House statement revealed.
Chinese media reports that Xi appreciated Trump’s decision to uphold the one-China policy, which states that there is only one China represented by the People’s Republic of China. The Chinese government perceives the “one-China” policy as a “prerequisite for the development of relations between China and the rest of the world.”
Trump rattled Beijing in early December by breaking with decades of diplomatic practice and protocol and accepting a phone call from Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen.
China dismissed the call as a rookie move, but one week later, Trump doubled down.
“I don’t want China dictating to me,” Trump stressed to Fox News. “Why should some other nation be able to say I can’t take a call?”
“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,” he added.
One week before he took office, he tripled down on his claims.
“Everything is under negotiation, including one China,” Trump explained to The Wall Street Journal.
Trump’s decision to disrespect what China considers a “non-negotiable” core interest infuriated Beijing. The Chinese government and Chinese media outlets repeatedly issued warnings and threats.