Washington: The outgoing Obama administration appears to be in differences with President-elect Donald Trump over the China policy, saying it has been in contact with the Chinese officials to reiterate its continued support to the long-standing one-China policy.
Responding to questions, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest even tended to question the impact of such a policy could have on stability in the region and its impact on not only the US, China but also Taiwan.
When asked about Trump’s phone call to Taiwanese President, Tsai Ing-wen, earnest said it is hard to determine exactly what the aim was of the President-elect.
“If the President-elect’s team has a different aim, I will leave it on them to describe,” Earnest said.
“I know both the Vice President-elect and his campaign manager were, when asked about this over the weekend indicated that these were courtesy calls or that this was a courtesy call and the President-elect was merely returning that call.
The Washington Post today tells a different story, with some Trump aides indicating that this was a long-planned call and that this is part of a broader strategic effort.
“It is unclear exactly what the strategic effort is, what the aim of the strategic effort is, and it is unclear exactly what potential benefit could be experienced by the US, China or Taiwan but I will leave that on them to explain,” he said.
Trump last week spoke over phone with Taiwanese President, the first by a top American leader since 1979, and then in a series of tweets slammed China for alleged currency manipulation and military build-up in the South China Sea.
His top aids have tended to dismiss the concerns, saying that this was merely courtesy call. Trump’s one of the election campaign promises was to declare China a currency manipulator.
“I am aware of two different phone conversations with officials at the National Security Council with their Chinese counterparts.
“What we have made clear in a couple of different phone conversations is that the administration is committed to our nation’s pursuit of a one-China policy rooted in three communiques and the Taiwan Relations Act,” Earnest said.
“This is a policy that is based on three joint US-China communiques that were negotiated by different US Presidents in different parties and, of course, by the Taiwan Relations Act.
“This is a policy that has been in place for nearly 40 years, and it has been focused on promoting and preserving peace and stability in the strait. The adherence to and commitment to this policy has advanced the ability of the US to make progress in our relationship with China and of course has benefited the people of Taiwan,” he said.
Earnest said that Taiwan, after all, is the ninth-largest trading partner of the US, and they certainly benefit from peace and stability in the strait and pursuit of and commitment to that peace and stability advances US interests.