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U.S. reaffirms its one-China policy ahead of Tillerson's China visit

ROC Central News Agency

2017/03/14 13:54:36

Washington, March 13 (CNA) The United States reaffirmed on Monday its commitment to the one-China policy, which is based on the three Sino-U.S. communiques and the Taiwan Relations Act, ahead of a visit by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to Beijing scheduled for later this week.

Asked about U.S. President Donald Trump's one-China policy and how he will address the issue during a possible meeting with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, acting Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Susan Thornton said that Washington's one-China policy has been unchanged for several decades and was reaffirmed in a phone call between the two presidents in February, the first since Trump took office on Jan. 20.

Washington's one-China policy is based on three Sino-U.S. communiques -- signed in 1972, 1979 and 1982 -- and the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA), which was enacted in 1979, she said during a State Department foreign press center briefing.

Under its "one-China" policy, the U.S. recognizes the People's Republic of China as the sole legal government of China, acknowledging Beijing's position that there is one China and Taiwan is part of China.

Under the same policy, the TRA provides for "robust, strong, committed and unofficial relations" between the U.S. and Taiwan, Thornton said.

"I think that that has been stated clearly by President Trump. It's been understood by President Xi," she said.

Her remarks came before Tillerson's first trip to Asia as America's top diplomat, which will take him to Tokyo, Seoul and Beijing from March 15-19.

Thornton said the trip can, to some extent, be seen as paving the way for a future summit between Trump and Xi, but she did not confirm reports that the two leaders will have their first meeting in Florida on April 6-7.

(By Rita Cheng and Elaine Hou)

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