On Tuesday, NBC’s Richard Engel spoke with China’s Foreign Minister’s spokesperson Lu Kang to discuss America’s interest in the South China Sea. During the rare English interview with Kang, a warning was sent to Donald Trump, stating that one Chinese policy would not be negotiable.
According to Kang, there are two major priorities in U.S/ China relations: the controversy with China’s building in the South China sea, and the other was the “One China” policy.
When asked how China would respond if the U.S made steps to acknowledge Taiwan. In his reply, he stated that due the issue touching on China’s core belief, there was no room for negotiations regarding the One China Policy. If you aren’t familiar with the “One China” policy, basically, it explains China’s insistence that Taiwan is not a separate entity from China, instead, it is a part of a whole “China.”
Continuing, in discussions regarding the issues surrounding the South China Sea, and Trump’s claims that China had been building on international territory, Kang stated that, “I don’t think he is in a position to say that that’s international territory,” Kang argued. “There might be difference, or controversial claims over the sovereignty of those islands, but that’s not for the United States. That might be between China and some other countries in this region.”
On Monday, during his first press conference, White House press secretary Sean Spencer stated that the U.S would defend international territories that are being taken over by China.
“We’re going to have to send China a clear signal that, first, the island-building stops and, second, your access to those islands also is not going to be allowed,” the 64-year-old former Exxon CEO said when asked if he supported a more aggressive posture toward China, adding that China’s island-building was “akin to Russia’s taking of Crimea.”
As it stands, based on the interview and other opinions which have been voiced by China, it appears that China is not happy with Trump’s decisions to intervene with over 35 years of foreign policy protocol. Furthermore, Trump questioning whether or not the U.S should abide by the “One China” policy seems to have the foreign minister quite tense. Usually, it is near impossible to obtain an interview with a Chinese official, but in this rare interview, it seems that China is sending a warning to Trump more than anything.