White House Confuses Taiwan And China In Painful G20 Press Release Blunder

US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, shake hands as they arrive for a meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, Saturday, July 8, 2017. (Saul Loeb/Pool Photo via AP)
|
July 8, 2017 3:06 p.m.

Just before leaving the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany on Saturday, President Donald Trump held a bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Following that high-level talk, the White House blasted out a transcript of Trump’s public remarks preceding the meeting, a document that called Xi “President Xi of the Republic of China.”

One problem: the “Republic of China” refers to Taiwan. China is referred to as the “People’s Republic of China.”

This is not the first time that Trump has blundered into the extremely sensitive question of Taiwan’s sovereignty.

Newsletters
Get TPM in your inbox, twice weekly.
Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Before he was even sworn into office, Trump angered China by taking a phone call from Taiwan’s president, something a U.S. leader has not done in decades. Though Trump defended the call at the time, he later told Xi he would honor the “one China” policy and not recognize Taiwan’s status as a sovereign nation.

On Saturday, according to the White House’s transcript, Trump told Xi: “It’s an honor to have you as a friend,” and called China a “great trading partner.”

Though the White House did not provide a translation of Xi’s remarks, Shanghai Media Group’s correspondent Ching-Yi Chang shared a translation with the U.S. press.

Xi, striking a more sober note than Trump, said “there is a lot of work needed to be done” on the “sensitive issues [that] remain in the China-U.S. relationship.”

“Differences emerge endlessly,” Xi reported said.

Latest Livewire
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriters:
Senior Editor for Content Strategy and Audience Development:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: