Beijing: China on Saturday played down US President-elect Donald Trump’s telephone talk with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, dismissing it as a “small trick by Taiwan” that cannot change the One-China framework or damage Sino-US ties.
“I do not think it will change the One-China policy that the US government has insisted on applying over the years,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said after unprecedented move by US President-elect, Hong Kong-based Phoenix TV reported.
“The One-China policy is the cornerstone of the healthy development of China-US relations and we hope this political foundation will not be interfered with or damaged,” Wang said after Trump spoke to Tsai, a striking break with decades of US diplomatic practice not to directly speak with Taiwan leader.
While Trump’s call caught China by surprise, Wang’s quick reaction played down expectations of a strong reaction from Beijing which wants to establish full contacts with Trump administration after he formally takes over power next month.
Like most of the countries in the world, US too pursued a so-called “One-China” policy since 1979, when it shifted its diplomatic recognition by formally recognising People s Republic of China (PRC) instead of Taiwan which broke off with mainland in 1949 after the formation of the PRC.
However, US continues to maintain low-key contacts with Taiwan including supplying military hardware to it.
China is trying to open up its channels with Trump as President Xi Jinping yesterday met former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger who is widely regarded as part of back channel diplomacy between both the countries.
In his meeting with Kissinger, Xi said China hopes for sustained, healthy and stable ties with the US.
He said the mutual benefits of relations between the two countries outweigh their differences, and China is willing to work with the US for a smooth transition following last month’s presidential election.
Xi said China and the US should continuously promote the new type of major power relations, and strengthen their coordination on international affairs.
Kissinger, a regular visitor to China, said the US-China relationship is important to the two countries, as well as the world as a whole. He hoped he can keep playing an active role in boosting the relationship.
“As a trailblazer for China-US ties, Kissinger paid a secret visit to China in 1971 which paved way for the establishment of China-US diplomatic ties in 1979,” state-run Xinhua said in its report on Xi-Kissinger meeting.
A statement from Trump’s transition team said he spoke with Tsai, who offered her congratulations.
Trump tweeted later: “The President of Taiwan CALLED ME today to wish me congratulations on winning the Presidency.
The Taiwanese presidential office also issued a statement saying Trump and Tsai discussed issues affecting Asia and the future of US relations with Taiwan.