Donald Trump’s U-turn on Taiwan shows he is learning: Chinese media

Beijing: US President Donald Trump’s decision to roll back his rhetoric on ‘One China’ policy is a sign that he is “learning” about his new job and no longer wants to be a “disruptor” of the Sino-US ties, China’s official media said today.

Hailing Trump’s surprise commitment to Chinese President Xi Jinping during their first phone call to abide by the ‘One China’ policy which was observed by the US for decades, recognising Taiwan as part of Chinese mainland, the state-run Global Times said Trump has changed his rhetoric about China.

“Since assuming office, Trump and his team have changed their rhetoric about China. Trump has stopped openly challenging China’s core interests, and instead showed respect to Beijing,” it said in an editorial.

Before assuming office, Trump had said he did not feel “bound by a one-China policy” and had broken protocol by speaking with Taiwan’s President on the phone.
China considers Taiwan to be a breakaway province to be brought back within its fold, by force if necessary, and is opposed to any official contact between foreign governments with the leaders of the self-governing island.

The first phone conversation between Xi and Trump – the leaders of the world’s largest economies – come after lengthy round of negotiations during which the Chinese side reported to have insisted that Trump should show commitment to the One China policy which he had promised to renegotiate.

“The change creates an impression that Trump is learning about his role in the realm of Sino-US ties. He’s now sending a new message that he does not want to be a disruptor of the Sino-US relations,” the editorial said.

“This phone call between the top leaders is a sign that some confusion in the relationship has been sorted out at the current stage. The Sino-US ties have, after a little shiver, returned to where they are supposed to stand.

“Uncertainties still loom but they will be about specific interests. The Sino-US relations will continue to move forward under the complicated framework where cooperation and frictions coexist,” it said.

Before assuming office, Trump gave an impression that a trade war between the two countries was around the corner.

The communications between the two countries since Trump came to power were not high profile but have now proven to be effective.