White House: Adherence to ‘one-China policy’ makes possible Beijing’s cooperation over N. Korea
WASHINGTON, -- Adherence to the "one-China policy" has made it possible for the United States to work closely with China on efforts to pressure and isolate North Korea over its nuclear and missile programs, the White House said Monday.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest made the remark, stressing the administration of President Barack Obama remains firmly committed to the "one-China policy," following questions from President-elect Donald Trump about why the U.S. should stick to it when Beijing is engaged in unfair trade practices and refusing to rein in North Korea.
"What we have been able to do by pursuing that policy and adhering to that policy is to have a close partner in Taiwan and a constructive relationship with China," Earnest said at a press briefing. "We've been able to lower tensions around cyber issues and we have been able to work effectively with the Chinese to ramp up pressure on North Korea."
Even though differences remain between the U.S. and China, the two countries have been working closely together on areas of common interest, including joint efforts to "prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and further isolate the North Korean regime for their destabilizing activities on the North Korean peninsula," he said.
Earlier this month, Trump raised China's ire by accepting a call from Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen in breach of the decades-long diplomatic tradition that the U.S. has kept under its "One China" policy since severing ties with Taiwan and normalizing relations with Beijing.
China considers Taiwan a renegade province that must be unified with the mainland and rails against any support for Taiwan's independence or the notion that the island is not part of the country. Despite the absence of formal diplomatic ties, the U.S. has maintained friendly relations with Taiwan.
On Sunday, Trump went a step further, saying he doesn't understand "why we have to be bound by a One China policy unless we make a deal with China having to do with other things, including trade." The remark suggests Trump could use the Taiwan card in dealings with Beijing.
"One reason that we have pursued that policy is because the Obama administration does not view Taiwan and our relationship with Taiwan as a bargaining chip. Taiwan is not a source of leverage, it's a close partner of the United States," Earnest said.
"Taiwan is the ninth-largest trading partner of the United States. Bargaining that away is not something that this administration believes is in our best interest," he said.
Source: Yonhap News Agency