Taipei--U.S. President Donald Trump's latest promise to honor the "one China" policy merely represents a return to Washington's long-standing approach, a ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) official said Friday.
According to the White House, Trump had a telephone conversation with Chinese President Xi Jinping (???) Thursday, in which Trump "agreed, at the request of President Xi, to honor our 'one China' policy."
The move has been seen by some as a backtrack from remarks made by Trump in December, in which he suggested that U.S. support for the policy might be contingent on a trade deal with Beijing.
Under its adherence of the one China policy -- diplomatic acknowledgment that there is only one government of China -- the U.S. has recognized the People's Republic of China rather than the Republic of China (Taiwan) as the legitimate China.
Commenting on the matter, Lo Chih-cheng (???), a legislator and director of the DPP's International Affairs Department, said it is crucial to note that Washington's "one China" policy is not the same as Beijing's "one China principle."
Under its one China policy, the U.S. acknowledges and respects China's one China principle that Taiwan is a part of China, but does not accept it. Washington maintains the position that Taiwan's sovereignty is an unresolved issue.
While Trump's December remarks left much room for imagination, his latest statement merely indicates that he is returning to the United States' long-standing "one China" policy, Lo said.
However, it remains unclear what steps Trump will take under such a policy, because every U.S. president has carried out the policy differently in practice, he said.
More important to Taiwan is the Six Assurances, which have been reaffirmed by new U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recently, Lo said.
The Six Assurances, issued by former U.S. president Ronald Reagan in 1982, include U.S. pledges not to set a date for ending arms sales to Taiwan, not to hold prior consultations with China regarding arms sales to Taiwan, and not to play a mediation role between Taiwan and China.
They also include assurances that the U.S. will not revise the Taiwan Relations Act, will not pressure Taiwan to enter into negotiations with China and will not formally recognize Chinese sovereignty over Taiwan.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel