Washington, Dec 12 (EFE).- The White House said Monday that the US relationship with Taiwan cannot be reduced to a “bargaining chip” and that President Barack Obama continues to be “firmly committed” to the policy of “one China,” the continuity of which has been placed in doubt by his successor, Donald Trump.
“The United States government, under the leadership of President Obama, has been and remains firmly committed to our one-China policy,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters at his daily press briefing.
“That’s also the policy, by the way, that previous presidents in both parties have pursued and our country has benefited from adherence to that policy,” Earnest added.
“The United States does not view Taiwan and our relationship with Taiwan as a bargaining chip. Taiwan is not a source of leverage, it’s a close partner of the United States. And bargaining that away is not something that this administration believes is our best interest,” he went on to say.
Trump has called into question the need for the “one China” policy, whereby Washington recognizes only Beijing as the official Chinese government, a policy that China has insisted upon and which has been the basis of the bilateral relationship since 1972.
“I don’t know why we have to be bound by a ‘one China’ policy unless we make a deal with China having to do with other things, including trade,” Trump said in an interview with Fox News broadcast on Sunday.
The kind of progress that the Obama administration has achieved in cooperating with Beijing on such issues as climate change or the nuclear agreement with Iran is much more difficult if bilateral tensions rise, Earnest said.
The Asian giant considers Taiwan to be a rebel province, and Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang warned Monday that if the principle whereby Beijing insists that it be recognized as the sole government of China were to be compromised or interrupted, stable growth in relations between China and the United States “is not possible.”
Trump sparked outrage in China by accepting a telephone call from Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen in early December, the first top-level contact between the two countries in almost 40 years.
Since then, Trump has said, “I don’t want China dictating to me. Why should some other nation be able to say I can’t take a call?”
“I fully understand the ‘one China’ policy, but I don’t know why we have to be bound by a ‘one China’ policy unless we make a deal with China having to do with other things, including trade,” he said in an interview with Fox News.