02/10/2017, 09.06
CHINA-US
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First "friendly" phone call between Trump and Xi Jinping. "One China" reaffirmed

by Wang Zhicheng

The two have decided to work together in areas of "mutual interest". Reaffirming the principle of the one China defuses a source of unrest and possible wars. The conversation took place a few hours after the arrival of Shinzo Abe in the US.

 

Beijing (AsiaNews) - President Donald Trump this morning had his first long phone call with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping. Defining in the conversation "friendly", Trump said he would honor the principle of "One China."

During the interview, both sides agreed to work together in areas of "mutual interest" and invitations to visit the respective countries were exchanged.

Chinese television reported that "Xi Jinping praised what Trump said on the commitment of the American government to the One China policy and stressed that this principle is the political foundation of China-US relations."

During the election campaign, Trump had often decried China accusing it of being a "currency manipulator" and threatened taxes on Chinese products exported to the US. Immediately after the election he had provoked many comments and concerns for accepting a telephone conversation with the president of Taiwan, Tsai Ying-wen and later when he had said that in future negotiations on trade the One China principle could be discussed again.

This principle states that there is only one country "China" which encompasses the Chinese mainland and Taiwan. Beijing requires all those who want to have diplomatic relations with it to cut ties with Taiwan. But it is also true that many countries have trade relations with the island, without diplomatic presences. In the 1970s, the US established relations with the People's Republic recognizing it in  principle, but say they are bound to defend Taiwan in the event of military attack by Beijing.

The morning call is a reinsurance in China-US relations after weeks of uncertainty and fears and advice from entrepreneurs and politicians not to spark a war (at least commercial) that would be to the detriment of all.

Analysts note that the Trump call to Xi came a few hours after the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had arrived in the US, almost as if to reassure China about the impact of this second visit by Abe to the new president.

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