A history of Trump's statements on the 'one China' policy

AP News
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Posted: Feb 10, 2017 4:48 AM

President Donald Trump sharply reversed himself Thursday after months of suggesting he wouldn't hold himself to the long-standing "one China" policy, under which the United States only maintains unofficial ties with Taiwan. A history of Trump's statements on Taiwan since November:

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Dec. 2, 2016 — Trump speaks by phone with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, breaking four decades of protocol. It's the first time an American president or president-elect has publicly spoken with Taiwan's leader since 1979, when the United States switched diplomatic ties to Beijing. "The President of Taiwan CALLED ME today to wish me congratulations on winning the Presidency," Trump tweets. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi accuses Tsai's government of playing a "trick," without directly rebuking Trump.

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Dec. 4, 2016 — Facing criticism of the call with Tsai, Trump attacks on Twitter. "Did China ask us if it was OK to devalue their currency (making it hard for our companies to compete), heavily tax our products going into their country (the U.S. doesn't tax them) or to build a massive military complex in the middle of the South China Sea?" Trump wrote in two separatetweets . "I don't think so!" A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, Lu Kang, said China would "not comment on his personality," but rather his policies while in office.

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Dec. 11, 2016 — Trump suggests he would use Taiwan's status as a bargaining chip. "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 told Fox News Sunday . Beijing responds sharply. A foreign ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang, called on Trump to "understand the seriousness of the Taiwan issue," and Wang, the foreign minister, said "any power in the world" threatening China's core interests would "smash their own foot while trying to lift a stone."

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Jan. 13, 2017 — Trump tells The Wall Street Journal , "Everything is under negotiation, including 'one China.'" The Chinese foreign ministry in turn says Taiwan is "non-negotiable." Chinese state media, tightly controlled by the government, publish two English-language editorials condemning Trump, including one China Daily editorial saying Trump was "playing with fire."

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Feb. 8, 2017 — The White House announces Trump sent a letter to Chinese President Xi Jinping offering well-wishes for the Chinese Lunar New Year. While he sent the letter more than a week after the Jan. 28 holiday, China responds with praise and rejects suggestions that the timing was a slight. "It is known to all that since President Trump took office, China and the U.S. have been in close contact," said Lu Kang, the foreign ministry spokesman.

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Feb. 9, 2017 — The White House says Trump and Xi have spoken by phone, and Trump "agreed, at the request of President Xi, to honor our 'one China' policy."