Tags: Trump Administration | GOP | Praise | Trump | China | Launches | Complaint

Republicans Praise Trump; China Launches Complaint

Republicans Praise Trump; China Launches Complaint

(AP)

By    |   Saturday, 03 December 2016 09:24 AM

Republican lawmakers are praising President-elect Donald Trump for talking to Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen by telephone, but on Saturday, mainland China launched a complaint about the phone call amidst concerns that the call could jeopardize United States relations with Beijing.

"America has always been a champion of democratic values and individual freedoms, and I applaud the President-elect for making a strong statement in support of those values around the world," Rep. Matt Salmon, R-Arizona, who chairs the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, told The Hill in a statement about Friday's phone call. "I commend [President-elect] Trump for reaching out to the democratically-elected President of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen."

Salmon, a former missionary to Taiwan, attended Tsai's inauguration recently. Officially, there have been no formal diplomatic relations between the United States and Taiwan since 1979, when Beijing claimed Taiwan and its democratically run government is part of China.

Relations between the United States and China are observed under the "one China" set of protocols, and on Saturday, China's foreign ministry launched a complaint over the telephone call, reports CNN.

"We have noticed relevant reports and lodged solemn representation with the relevant side in the United States," China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said in a statement issued Saturday morning. "I must point out that there is only one China in the world and Taiwan is an inseparable part of the Chinese territory ... The 'one China' principle is the political foundation of China-U.S. relations."

"We urge the relevant side in the U.S. to adhere to the 'one China' policy, abide by the pledges in the three joint China-U.S. communiques, and handle issues related to Taiwan carefully and properly to avoid causing unnecessary interference to the overall China-U.S. relationship," Geng said in the statement.

The statement came after Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi called the phone call from the Taiwanese president to Trump a "shenanigan by the Taiwan side," after being asked about it during a foreign policy seminar, reports CNN.

"The 'one China' policy is the cornerstone of a healthy China-U.S. relationship. I hope this political foundation won't be disrupted or damaged," he said.

But while Salmon and other Republicans were praising Trump for speaking with Taiwan's president, at least one loyalist, North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows, downplayed the call, reports The Hill.

"President-elect Trump recognizes that reaching out to every world leader is a critical component of an effective foreign policy," Meadows said in a statement to The Hill. "It's not policy, it's a phone call."

But Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton said Trump's decision to accept the call "reaffirms our commitment to the only democracy on Chinese soil."

"America's policy toward Taiwan is governed by the Taiwan Relations Act, under which we maintain close ties with Taiwan and support its democratic system," Cotton pointed out, noting he has also met with Tsai and is confident she also wants closer relations with the United States.

House GOP Policy Committee Chairman Luke Messer, R- Indiana told The Hill that it is "ironic" that people who said President Barack Obama was "enlightened for his outreach to murderous communist thugs in Cuba" are criticizing Trump over the telephone call.

"Taiwan is a great friend of America and I see nothing wrong with the president-elect letting the world see that," Messer told The Hill. "I have visited Taiwan twice in recent years, and anyone who has knows that Taiwan is a democratic republic, a great trade partner with America, and a nation that values freedom and the rule of law."

Others like New York Rep. Pete King, tweeted their support for Trump's phone conversation:

The phone call, initiated by the Taiwanese leader, was the first publicly reported call between either a United States president or president-elect since 1979, when Washington established diplomatic relations with Beijing, Bonnie Glaser, an expert on China at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told CNN.

Meanwhile, an Obama administration official said there had been no contact with the White House or the State Department before the telephone call. However, China had contacted the Obama administration about the call by Friday night, reports CNN, while the White House has refused comment on diplomatic discussions.

"There is no change to our longstanding policy on cross-Strait issues," Ned Price, a spokesman for the U.S. National Security Council, said Friday. "We remain firmly committed to our 'one China' policy based on the three Joint Communiques and the Taiwan Relations Act. Our fundamental interest is in peaceful and stable cross-Strait relations."

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Republican lawmakers are praising President-elect Donald Trump for talking to Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen by telephone, but on Saturday, mainland China launched a complaint about the phone call amidst concerns that the call could jeopardize United States relations with Beijing.
GOP, Praise, Trump, China, Launches, Complaint
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2016-24-03
Saturday, 03 December 2016 09:24 AM
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