In a speech to a United Nations General Assembly session last year, US President Donald Trump said the US would continue to pursue a “one China policy” and the US government was “actively working to build a better, more peaceful world”.
While that statement has now become part of the administration’s foreign policy strategy, a US official familiar with the matter told The Next, that is not what Trump meant by the statement.
In his speech to the UN General Assembly last year Trump said, “We will continue to make that one China policy the cornerstone of our foreign policy.
We have a one China rule, but we are moving in a different direction.”
The official did not clarify the exact difference between the two statements, and a spokesman for Trump’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
China’s position on the US stance towards Taiwan is very different.
The People’s Republic of China views Taiwan as a territory of China and considers Taiwan a renegade province, which China has occupied for decades.
Taiwan was handed over to China in 1979, after a five-year civil war.
The US and China have had no diplomatic relations since the end of the Cold War, but China has repeatedly accused the US of supporting Taiwan, including in 2016, when President Trump made the claim during his speech at the UN.
In a statement to Reuters on Wednesday, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said, in a clear reference to Trump’s speech, “we firmly oppose any unilateral US actions that would affect China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
The statement continued, “China considers Taiwan to be a renegaded province and has always supported its right to self-determination.”
“The United States has consistently shown its opposition to the Taiwan policy of the Democratic Progressive Party and has never given a single indication of supporting its ‘one China’ policy,” the statement said.
The spokesperson added, “There is no dispute about the principle of ‘one country, two systems’ that applies to the whole Taiwan Island chain, which the US does not recognise, and the ‘two China’ principle, which applies only to Taiwan.”
The Trump administration has been working to improve ties with Beijing, as it has been attempting to persuade President Xi Jinping to change the US policy towards Taiwan.
The White House has been pushing China to open up to the international community and open up relations with other countries, and have also worked to ease tensions between Washington and Beijing over territorial disputes in the South China Sea.
Trump, in his speech, said, he was “not interested in having a bad relationship with China.”
The United Nations recently called for a special meeting between the US and Taiwan in December, but no date has been set for the meeting.