"I don't know why we have to be bound by the one China policy unless we make a deal with China having to do with other things, including trade," Trump said in an interview with FOX News Sunday in response to a question on China's reaction to his earlier phone conversation with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen.
He stressed the conversation was initiated by the Taiwanese side and involved Tsai's brief congratulations on his electoral victory.
"I don't want China dictating to me," Trump said, addressing a note of protest from China filed over the call.
The president-elect reiterated his recurrent criticism of China's alleged currency manipulation, as well as its activities in the disputed South China Sea and its passive stance on the North Korean nuclear threat.
Both the People's Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of China (ROC), more widely known as Taiwan, claim sovereignty over the Chinese territory. The future of cross-strait relations remains uncertain following Tsai's Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) victory in Taiwan's January elections. The DPP rejects the PRC's claim over Taiwan, instead supporting Taiwanese independence.