Trump pledges to honor 'One China' in call with Xi

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and US President Donald Trump speak at Trump's Mar-a Lago resort in Palm Beach after North Korea reportedly fired a ballistic missile

According to the Financial Times, which was the first to report on the call, Trump told Xi that the United States would respect its long-standing "One China" policy (distinct from China's own "One China" principle). It also wished the Chinese people a happy Lantern Festival and a successful Year of the Rooster. The Lantern Festival will be celebrated on Saturday.

The uprising, which began in Taiwan on February 28, 1947 - two years after the end of Japanese colonial rule - resulted in the massacre of an estimated 18,000 to 28,000 people and marked the beginning of the White Terror period, during which tens of thousands Taiwanese disappeared, died, or were imprisoned.

Moreover, his fiery campaign rhetoric is running into the foreign policy reality: "alienating China so fully and immediately is counterproductive, even if he wants to be tougher on China generally", posited the professor.

She said Mr Trump was careful in wording the letter to appear conciliatory, "but undoubtedly most people and the Chinese will notice this was not a phone call".

Soon the spat turned ugly with Trump levelling currency manipulation charges against China and the official Chinese media launching tirades against Trump.

Diplomatic sources in Beijing say China has been nervous about Xi being left humiliated in the event a call with Trump goes wrong and the details are leaked to the USA media.

It was Trump's first conversation with the Chinese leader since taking office.

Last month, Chinese Foreign Ministry responded by saying it was "nonnegotiable".

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What surprised the worldwide media is the fact that Trump became the first president-elect or president after 1979 to have talked to Taiwan's leader and that too in an informal manner.

Trump's combative trade stance threatens to derail growth in export-dependent economies around the globe, with the president threatening punitive tariffs on China, Mexico and other nations he blames for the loss of American manufacturing jobs.

Diplomatic sources in Beijing told Reuters that China was anxious that an unpleasant phone call, the details of which could be leaked to the media, might humiliate Xi.

Besides the damage to the USA and China, a trade war would very likely hurt smaller open economies in Asia such as South Korea and Taiwan that are closely linked to global supply chains, the report said.

USA exports of goods to China have more than doubled between 2006 and 2015, the fastest growth among America's top 10 export markets, according to the U.S.

Chu Yun is a professor at the University of International Relations in Beijing.

For the Chinese, a letter may actually be preferable to a meeting or a phone call given Trump's unpredictability. "China is very much being lined up by Trump's people as not quite enemy number one but something approximating that".

The short video spread quickly in China.

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