After New Year Greetings, Trump Backs ‘One China’ Policy In Call With Xi Jinping

After New Year Greetings, Trump Backs ‘One China’ Policy In Call With Xi Jinping Chinese President Xi Jinping, left, and US President Donald Trump

On Thursday, President Donald Trump finally spoke to Chinese President Xi Jinping for the first time on the phone since his inauguration on 20 January and said that the United States would respect the “One China” policy. Earlier, Trump broke the ice by sending a letter to Xi, wishing the Chinese people a prosperous Lunar New Year. This comes after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, in his written reply to questions after his Senate confirmation hearing, pledged to respect the One China policy.

According to the One China policy, there is only one state called China and the government that rules the mainland is the only legitimate government of the country.

Trump questioned Washington's stand on the One China policy before taking his seat in the Oval Office. In December, Trump had said that the US can’t be forced to accept the One China policy that the previous administrations have adhered to. Diplomatic relations between US and Taiwan were cut in 1979, recognising China’s sovereignty over Taiwan. Trump broke the protocol, accepting a congratulatory call from Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen.

According to a statement issued by the White House, Trump and Xi “discussed numerous topics and President Trump agreed, at the request of President Xi, to honour the One China policy”. The discussion was “extremely cordial,” the statement read, adding that the presidents “extended invitations to meet in their respective countries.”

"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," Chinese official broadcaster CCTV reported.