White House, On Trump-Taiwan Call: ‘One China’ Policy Is Key To Security

White House press secretary Josh Earnest answers a question about ongoing budget negotiations during the daily press briefing, Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015, at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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In the wake of the uproar over Trump speaking by phone with Taiwan’s president, a major breach of U.S. diplomatic protocol with China, the White House spokesman confirmed Monday that the Obama administration has been working on cleaning up the mess with China.

“I can confirm that U.S. officials, including senior officials of the National Security Council, have been in touch with their Chinese counterparts to reiterate our country’s continued commitment to a One-China policy,” Earnest said, referring to longstanding U.S. policy to recognize Beijing as the government of China and deny official recognition to the government in Taiwan.

When Trump spoke to Taiwan’s president Friday, it was the first known time in nearly four decades that a U.S. leader has spoken on the phone with his Taiwanese counterpart.

“This is a policy that is based on three joint U.S.-China communiqués that were negotiated by different U.S. presidents and different parties, and, of course, by the Taiwan Relations Act. This is a policy that’s been in place for nearly 40 years and it has been focused on promoting and preserving peace and stability in the Strait,” Earnest said. “The adherence to and commitment to this policy has advanced the ability of the United States to make progress in our relationship with China.”

Earnest argued that the One-China policy was crucial to Taiwan and U.S. security in the region.

“It, of course, has benefited the people of Taiwan. Taiwan after all is the ninth largest trading partner of the United States and they certainly benefit from peace and stability in the Strait and pursuit of and commitment to that peace and stability advances U.S. interests,” Earnest said. “If the President-elect’s team has a different aim, I’ll leave it to them to describe.”

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