Trump Mends China Ties in Political Setback

The US president talks to Chinese leader and agrees to uphold the “One China” Policy, while struggling at home to reaffirm his travel ban
During the phone call with the Chinese leader, Trump tried to mend Sino-American ties. During the phone call with the Chinese leader, Trump tried to mend Sino-American ties.
Thursday’s call showed Donald Trump had “come to his senses” about China policy that had underpinned ties since Richard Nixon occupied the Oval Office

President Donald Trump reaffirmed Washington’s “One China” policy in his first conversation with Xi Jinping, an apparent effort to ease tensions after angering Beijing by questioning a major plank of Sino-US relations.

During a phone call with China’s leader, the US president agreed to “honor” a position that effectively acknowledges Taiwan is not separate from China, AFP reported.

“President Trump agreed, at the request of President Xi, to honor our ‘One China’ policy,” the White House said in a statement, adding that the two leaders had “extended invitations to meet in their respective countries”.

The White House called the phone discussion, which came on the eve of Trump’s slated meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, “extremely cordial”, saying the leaders “look forward to further talks with very successful outcomes”.

According to a Chinese Foreign Ministry’s statement, “Xi Jinping appreciates Trump’s emphasis on the American government’s commitment to the One China policy and pointed out that the One China principle is the political foundation of US-China relations”.

Trump’s insurgent campaign for the White House included frequently lashing out at China, which he accused of currency manipulation and stealing American jobs.

He raised eyebrows in the wake of his election victory with a protocol-busting telephone conversation with Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen.

Trump later threw doubt on the “One China” policy, suggesting that it was up for negotiation and could form part of talks on trade, drawing rebukes from official Chinese media.

  Come to His Senses

Beijing had been prepared to give Trump-the-candidate a pass, said Wu Xinbo, director of the Center for American Studies at China’s Fudan University.

“When Trump tweeted a few things about the “One China” policy previously, it was prior to his inauguration, so we can consider those his personal opinion,” said Wu.

“Now that he is in office, he represents the government’s views, and as such, he must emphasize the continuity of policies such as the Taiwan issue and the One China issue.”

Xu Guoqi, an expert in Sino-US relations at the University of Hong Kong, said Thursday’s call showed the US president had “come to his senses” about a policy that had underpinned ties since Richard Nixon occupied the Oval Office.

  Trump’s Legal Battle at Home

A US court unanimously refused to reinstate Donald Trump’s ban on refugees and nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries, dealing the new president and his controversial law-and-order agenda a major defeat.

The ruling from the federal appeals court in San Francisco on Trump’s executive order, issued on January 27 with no prior warning and suspended by a lower court a week later, capped a turbulent first three weeks of his presidency.

A defiant Trump quickly pledged to battle on, tweeting within minutes of the decision: “SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!”

The Justice Department had asked the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to restore the measure on an emergency basis, but the three-judge panel instead maintained the suspension ordered by a federal judge in Seattle.

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