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Beijing to Trump: 'One China' is non-negotiable

January 14, 2017

China has responded to the US president-elect's remarks casting doubt on the "One China" policy, saying the stance was key to Sino-US ties. Trump also suggested in an interview that he may scrap sanctions against Russia.

Bildkombo Donald Trump Xi Jinping

China's Foreign Ministry released a statement on Saturday, criticizing recent comments US President-elect Donald Trump made regarding his commitment to the "One China" policy.

In an interview with "The Wall Street Journal," Trump said he would not support the "One China" stance before Beijing showed progress on its trade and currency practices.

"Everything is under negotiation, including One China," he said in the interview published on Friday.

In response, China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said the "One China" principle "is non-negotiable."

"We urge the relevant parties in the United States to recognize the high degree of sensitivity of the Taiwan issue and abide by commitments made by successive U.S. administrations from both parties to pursue the One China policy," read the statement posted on the ministry's website.

Taiwan stance as bargaining chip

Trump has already sparked uproar in China for undermining Washington's "One China" policy. For decades, the US has avoided direct diplomatic contact with Taiwan's leaders, concurring with Beijing's assertion that Taiwan is simply a breakaway province of China. Taiwanese authorities consider the island an independent country.

After winning the election, however, Trump accepted a call from the president of Taiwan Tsai Ing-Wen, putting the practice under question. He defended his move in "The Wall Street Journal" interview, saying it would be "very rude" to decline the conversation.

Without challenging the Chinese stance openly, the US has maintained strong unofficial ties with Taiwan, including trade and weapons sales.

Beijing is 'doing it on purpose'

During the campaign, Trump repeatedly warned against economic threats from China and accused Beijing of manipulating the value of its currency to harm US companies.

"Instead of saying, 'We're devaluating our currency,' they say, 'Oh, our currency is dropping,'" he told the Journal. "It's not dropping. They're doing it on purpose."

"Our companies can't compete with them now because our currency is strong and it's killing us," he added.

US President-Elect Trump faces the press

Scrapping Russian sanctions

During the interview, Trump also said he might revoke US sanctions against Russia if Moscow were to cooperate with Washington to fight terrorism. 

"If Russia is really helping us, why would anybody have sanctions?" Trump asked.

However, he noted that the latest US sanctions against Moscow, imposed by Barack Obama in December, would stay in place "at least for a period of time" under the new administration. 

Trump's ties with Russia have sparked deep concerns in Washington, with the US Senate preparing an investigation into the alleged Russian-run campaign to boost Trump's chances in November's election. However, Trump has made no qualms about his desire to repair the US-Russia relations, which have taken a nosedive during recent years.

In the interview, Trump said he was willing to meet Putin after taking office.

"I understand that they would like to meet, and that's absolutely fine with me," he said.

The latest sanctions target organizations and individuals allegedly linked with Russian intelligence agencies in the US. The US State Department also ordered 35 Russian intelligence operatives to leave the country.

rs, dj/tj (AFP, AP, Reuters)