China warns Trump that Taiwan policy is ‘non-negotiable’

China warns Trump that Taiwan policy is ‘non-negotiable’


Beijing says accord which regards Taiwan as part of China is the political basis for all Sino-US relations and of high sensitivity

China has warned Donald Trump that he has no chance of striking a deal with Beijing involving Taiwans political status following the US president-elects latest controversial intervention on the subject.

The Chinese foreign ministry told Trump that the USs longstanding One China policy, by which it does not challenge Beijings claim over the self-ruled island, was the political basis for all Sino-US relations.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal on Saturday Trump said all options were on the table as he considered how he might reshape Washingtons relations with China, a country he accused of deliberately devaluing its currency in order to hamstring US businesses.

Everything is under negotiation, including One China, Trump said, referring to the USs longstanding diplomatic decision not to challenge Beijings claim that Taiwan, an independently and democratically-ruled island, is part of its territory.

Chinas foreign ministry hit back in a statement advising Trump, a billionaire property tycoon who has claimed deals are my art form, that he would never be able to achieve such a deal.

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There is only one China in the world, Taiwan is an inalienable region of China, and the government of the Peoples Republic of China is the only legitimate government representing China, spokesperson Lu Kang was quoted as saying.

The One China principle, which is the political foundation of the China-US relations, is non-negotiable.

Lu warned the president-elect that the only way to avoid disruption to the relationship was for him to recognise the high sensitivity of the Taiwan question and approach the issue with prudence and honour.

The latest exchange between Beijing and the incoming president came after Rex Tillerson, Trumps nominee for secretary of state, infuriated Beijing by likening its island-building campaign in the South China Sea to Russias invasion of Crimea.

Chinas state-run media counter-attacked, claiming Trump would face a large-scale war if the US followed through on Tillersons threat to deny China access to those artificial islands.

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Tillerson had better bone up on nuclear power strategies if he wants to force a big nuclear power to withdraw from its own territories, the Global Times, a Communist party-controlled tabloid, argued in an editorial.

Before Trumps 8 November election, leading China experts said they suspected Beijing was relishing the possibility of a Trump White House as an enormous opportunity.

But the billionaire began ruffling Chinese feathers within days of his victory, holding a 10-minute phone conversation with Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen, the first such call since the US broke off ties with the self-ruled island in 1979.

Since then the atmosphere between Beijing and Washington has continued to sour, with Trump using television interviews and Twitter to criticise Chinas leaders on a range of issues including North Korea, the South China Sea and their alleged manipulation of the yuan.

Trumps decision to hand notorious China hawk Peter Navarro a position in his administration also went down badly in Beijing.

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Navarro, a scholar at the University of California, Irvine, has described the Chinese government as a despicable, parasitic, brutal, brass-knuckled, crass, callous, amoral, ruthless and totally totalitarian imperialist power.

However, it has been Trumps threat to overturn longstanding US policy on Taiwan which China regards as a breakaway province that has caused most consternation in Beijing.

Last month China called on Washington to prevent Tsai from transiting through the US, amid speculation that the Taiwanese president was hoping to land a protocol-shredding audience with Trump en route to a tour of Central America.

Those calls fell on deaf ears but Tsai is not known to have met with Trump while in the US. Instead she visited Twitters headquarters in San Francisco on Saturday, using the social network to announce her appearance there.

Tsai Ing-wen (@iingwen)

Had a great visit to @Twitter HQ today. Thank you to @vijaya and team for showing us around! pic.twitter.com/m38tmO13d1

January 15, 2017

The previous weekend Tsai met Republican senator Ted Cruz who rejected Beijings calls to shun Taiwans first female president.

We will continue to meet with anyone, including the Taiwanese, as we see fit, Cruz said.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/15/china-warns-trump-that-taiwan-policy-is-non-negotiable

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