Trump Meets Chinese President Xi, White House Miscalls Him President of Taiwan

Taiwan gaffe spurs apology from the US

Just before leaving the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany on Saturday, President Donald Trump held a bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

"According to my understanding, the Chinese side has already raised this with the United States side", Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said during a daily press briefing. The official name of Xi's presidency is the People's Republic of China, something which the White House failed to take note.

In early December, Trump, as president-elect, first stoked controversy over the country by taking a congratulatory phone call from its president, Tsai Ing-wen.

All political watchers will know that China is especially allergic to any questioning of their "One China" policy in relations to China-Taiwan ties.

Trump appears to have gone beyond "toning down" his criticism of China.




After acknowledging that both nations had made progress for bilateral cooperation in many fields since the Mar-a-Lago meeting last April, despite some sensitive issues, Xi Jinping called for joint efforts with Donald Trump to keep bilateral ties in place and focus on global matters.

An associate professor at Peking University quoted in Chinese media also suggested that the mistake was not intentional, but merely revealed the ineffectiveness of the Trump White House, especially as many key positions remain vacant. "The mistake itself may not affect China-US relations, but the White House should draw a lesson from it to improve its workflow".

In December, Mr Trump, as president-elect, accepted a telephone call from President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan, which broke with decades of U.S. precedent and was considered a snub for Beijing. Then last month, to Beijing's indignation, his administration approved a $1.4 billion arms sale to Taiwan, which separated from mainland China in 1949 during a civil war.

Mr Mao's vanquished opponents fled to Taiwan and maintained the claim over all of China, referring to themselves as the Republic of China and keeping a United Nations seat under that name until 1971.

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