White House gaffe names Xi as President of Taiwan, not China
White House gaffe names Xi as President of Taiwan, not China
White House 'appoints' China's Xi President of Taiwan, Abe President of Japan in press release gaffe
12 July, 2017, 00:41
Trump later cast doubt on Washington's long-standing policy of acknowledging Beijing's "One China" policy, which asserts that Taiwan is a part of China.
The latest meeting between President Xi Jinping and his USA counterpart, Donald Trump, was productive and reassuring to the world, experts said, as it confirmed ongoing discussions about an ambitious economic cooperation plan and a sequence of meetings involving senior military officers.
Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said China asked the United States for an explanation of the mistake, and the U.S. said it was a technical error.
Chinese scholars believe the mistaken identity of addressing Xi as Taiwan's president shows a lack of competence in the White House, the Associated Press reported.
While Xi said after his Saturday meeting with Trump that Beijing would "like to work with the USA", he last week described the relationship as afflicted by "negative factors".
It resulted in Beijing casting doubt over the president and his administration's commitment to "one China" principle, even before Trump took office. China's formal name is People's Republic of China.
Wang Dong, an associate professor in the school of global studies at elite Peking University, said he believes the error was not intentional but still reveals a lack of capacity in Trump's foreign policy team while key positions remain unfilled. "It's a politically sensitive mistake that should not have occurred".
America remains Taiwan's most powerful ally despite having no official relations with Taipei for decades.
He tweeted about a protocol-breaking phone conversation with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen in early December and subsequently questioned the One-China policy in interviews.
The U.S. government recently approved $1.42 billion in arms sales to the island.
In a separate incident, a White House press readout labelled Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as the president of the Far East country.
Nearly six months into office, Trump has yet to fill thousands of government positions.
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