13:26 GMT30 May 2020
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    Donald Trump's recent remarks on the "One China" policy and the US-Taiwanese relationship have prompted deep concerns among Chinese observers. However, speaking to RIA Novosti Russian experts asserted that Trump's move doesn't represent the US' departure from the "One China Principle."

    US President-elect Donald Trump's remarks on US-Taiwanese relations don't mean that Washington is drifting away from the longstanding "One China" doctrine, Russian experts told RIA Novosti.

    On Sunday the US President-elect signaled that he will not be bound by the One-China policy regarding relations with Taiwan.

    "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.

    U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump appears at a campaign roundtable event in Manchester, New Hampshire, U.S., October 28, 2016
    © REUTERS / Carlo Allegri/File Photo
    "I don't want China dictating to me," Trump stressed, commenting on a note of protest issued by Beijing after his conversation with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen.

    Chief Research Fellow at the Centre for Russian-Chinese Relations Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) Vladimir Petrovsky characterized the episode as "trivial"; still, he admitted that it could impact the future US-Chinese relationship.

    "I don't think that it [Trump's recent move] could represent the US' departure from the 'One China' policy," Petrovsky told RIA Novosti, "It appears to be an attempt to test the water before negotiations [with China], because Sino-American relations are going to be complicated and interesting under Trump. I believe, [they will be] even more interesting than Russo-American [relations]."

    According to the Russian academic, Trump's statement sends a veiled signal to Beijing: "If you want us to pursue the 'One China' policy, what will we get in return?"

    Petrovsky called attention to the fact that Taiwan plays a part in different international organizations, for example in Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum. The Russian academic highlighted that the People's Republic of China endorsed Taiwan joining the organization.

    "Beijing is not interested in escalating the situation, however [US-Chinese] relations will be uneasy and very delicate," Petrovsky pointed out, adding that it's too early to draw conclusions from Trump's move, given the fact that the new US administration has yet to be formed.

    Retired Maj. Gen. Pavel Zolotarev, the deputy director of the Institute for US and Canada Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), echoes Petrovsky.

    Speaking to RIA Novosti, Zolotarev suggested that the US' attitude toward the 'One China Principle' is unlikely to undergo any dramatic changes. The expert also doesn't believe that Sino-American relations will profoundly deteriorate.

    "The [US-Chinese] relationship has a solid economic foundation," Zolotarev emphasized and added that "China is interested in the United States no less than America [is interested in China]."

    As for Beijing's tough reaction to Trump's phone conversation with the Taiwanese leader, the retired Major General believes that China will not go beyond "warnings" especially given the fact that the US President-elect has yet to take office.

    "Trump holds no presidential power until the inauguration, therefore his statements [could be regarded] as an unofficial viewpoint," Zolotarev stressed.

    On the other hand, Trump's claims reflect the US' growing concerns over the situation in Southeast Asia, the Russian expert believes. He noted that Washington is concerned about its capability of projecting its power in the region. For its part, Beijing continues to expand its influence in Southeast Asia without regard to Washington.

    In his recent interview with Sputnik, Stephen Ebert, a US political commentator and expert at the Agency for Strategic Communications (ASK), criticized Trump's statement regarding the "One China" policy and called attention to the fact that over the past decades China and the US have become very interdependent.

    "They have lately bought the vast majority of our debt, continue to provide cheap consumer goods while being a key export market for higher-priced US goods. Or, even something as simple as seeing how much the US and world economies remain largely stagnant largely due to a 'slowdown' in growth in China from over 10% to 5-7%," Ebert told Sputnik.

    Trump's conversation with Taiwanese President Tsai broke with Washington's longstanding adherence to the "One China Principle." Trump became the first US president or president-elect to speak with the Taiwanese official leader since 1979. Both the People's Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of China (ROC), known as Taiwan, claim sovereignty over China's territory. Trump's move has prompted a firestorm of criticism from Chinese observers.

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    One China policy, US foreign policy, economy, APEC, Tsai Ing-wen, Donald Trump, China, United States, Russia, Southeast Asia, Taiwan
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