Trump reaffirms commitment to one-China policy

Washington cut formal ties with Taipei in 1979, recognising the Communist mainland rulers in Beijing as the sole government of "One China".

"The two leaders discussed numerous topics and President Trump agreed, at the request of President Xi, to honor our "one China" policy," the statement says.

In a move seen by observers as an attempt to break the ice, the White House said earlier this week that Trump had sent a letter to Xi, weeks after receiving a letter of congratulations from his Chinese counterpart.

"China is ready to work with the US to strengthen communication, expand cooperation, boost the healthy, steady development of China-US ties" to achieve greater results and benefit people of the two countries and the world, Xi said. "Everything is under negotiation including 'One China, '" Trump told the newspaper at the time.

A separate statement by China's Foreign Ministry, said that Mr. Xi appreciated Mr. Trump's upholding of the "one-China" policy.

Many other issues of friction exist between the superpowers, including Beijing's aggrandisement in the disputed waters of the South China Sea, how to rein in rogue state North Korea and combating climate change.

Others in China were less pleased with Trump's overture.

The US and Chinese leaders had not spoken by telephone since Trump took office on Jan 20. The call broke 40 years of USA policy of accepting Beijing as china's only legitimate government.

Glaser said she believed China had been holding off arranging a phone call with Trump until it was convinced he would not seek to challenge Beijing over Taiwan. China views any hint of official USA recognition of the island as anathema to China's revival as a great Asian power.

Following Trump's phone call with the Taiwanese leader, the White House downplayed speculation that the sensitive issue was in danger of being reviewed.

Reiterating the principles of non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation, Lu said China looked forward to enhancing exchanges with the USA and expanding cooperation at the bilateral, regional and global levels. In practice, Taiwan has a US Ambassador in everything but name, and an embassy that is simply listed as not an embassy for the sake of the policy.

  • Rogelio Becker