President Obama Says Donald Trump Should Deal Cautiously With Taiwan, China

19-Dec-2016 Intellasia | WSJ | 6:00 AM Print This Post

President Barack Obama said President-elect Donald Trump’s protocol-breaking phone call with Taiwan’s leader could elicit a significant response from China, given the issue’s importance to Beijing.

Trump drew criticism from China after he accepted a congratulatory phone call from President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan. The call caught the White House by surprise and broke with the longstanding “One China” policy that blocks formal US diplomatic relations with Taiwan, which Beijing considers to be a territory, not a sovereign nation.

“If you’re going to upend this understanding, you have to have thought through what the consequences are because the Chinese won’t treat that like they treat some issues,” Obama said at a news conference Friday.

Obama said overall it is good that “all of our foreign policy should be subject to fresh eyes” but warned that the US relationship with China is one that should be approached carefully and methodically.

“There’s probably no bilateral relationship that carries more significance, and where there’s also the potential if that relationship breaks down or goes into a full conflict mode that everybody’s worse off,” Obama said.


Category: Taiwan

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