The Latest: China lodges ‘solemn representations’ with US
BEIJING (AP) — The Latest on President-elect Donald Trump’s phone conversation with Taiwan’s leader (all times local):
The Chinese foreign ministry says Beijing has lodged “solemn representations” with the U.S. over the call between President-elect Donald Trump and Taiwan’s leader.
Geng Shuang, a ministry spokesman, said in a statement Saturday that “It must be pointed out that there is only one China in the world and Taiwan is an inseparable part of Chinese territory. The government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legitimate government representing China.”
Geng said, “This is a fact that is generally recognized by the international community.”
The statement did not describe the details of China’s complaint to the U.S., or say with whom it was lodged.
It said China urged the relevant side — implying Trump’s incoming administration — to handle Taiwan-related issues “cautiously and properly,” to avoid “unnecessary interference” in the China-U.S. relationship.
Taiwan’s official Central News Agency says the former president of a conservative American think tank played a “crucial” role that led to the call between President-elect Donald Trump and Taiwan’s leader.
The news agency said Saturday, citing anonymous sources, that Edwin Feulner, founder of the Washington-based Heritage Foundation, was a “crucial figure” in setting up communication channels between the sides.
Feulner led a delegation from the Heritage Foundation on a trip to Taiwan in October and met with Tsai, according to a release at the time from Taiwan’s presidential office.
That release says Tsai called Feulner a “long-time friend to Taiwan” and conveyed her gratitude to his foundation for its support.
One of China’s best-known international relations scholars says President-elect Donald Trump’s call with Taiwan’s leader will not help ease Beijing’s concerns about U.S. policy toward China under the incoming administration.
Shi Yinhong of Renmin University in Beijing said Saturday that China will respond discreetly and with restraint because it wants stable relations with the U.S., but that officials are increasingly worried.
Shi says: “In the mind of Chinese leaders, concerns are mounting over about U.S. policy toward China” under Trump’s administration. He says Taiwan is the most sensitive and important issue in U.S.-China relations.
He says Trump’s call may help Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen “convince people in Taiwan that the island can establish good relations with the U.S. and encourage her to continue to resist pressure from Beijing.”
China’s foreign minister says he hopes Beijing’s relations with the U.S. won’t be “interfered with or damaged” after President-elect Donald Trump broke with decades-long diplomatic tradition and spoke directly with Taiwan’s leader.
Hong Kong’s Phoenix TV reports that Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Saturday the call between Taiwan’s president and Trump was “just a small trick by Taiwan.” He said he thought it would not change longstanding U.S. policy toward China.
Wang says the so-called “one-China policy” is the cornerstone of U.S.-China relations and that Beijing hoped that foundation would not be “interfered with or damaged.”
It is highly unusual, probably unprecedented, for a U.S. president or president-elect to speak directly with a leader of Taiwan, a self-governing island the U.S. broke diplomatic ties with in 1979.