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September 23, 2017

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Trump talks Taiwan call, questions 'one China'

President-elect Donald Trump questioned in an interview broadcast Sunday whether the United States should continue its "one China" policy unless Beijing makes concessions on trade and other issues.

In an interview with Fox News, Trump commented on a phone conversation earlier this month with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen that had fallen subject to intense media scrutiny.

"I heard the call was coming probably an hour or two before. I fully understand the 'one China' policy, but I don't know why we have to be bounded by a 'one China' policy unless we make a deal with China having to do with other things, including trade," he said.

"I mean, look, we're being hurt very badly by China with devaluation, with (them) taxing us heavy at the borders when we don't tax them."

Trump said China was building a "massive fortress" in the South China Sea, and "frankly not helping us at all with North Korea."

He emphasized that he had not initiated the call with the Taiwan president and that it was a short message of congratulations on his November election victory. "It was a very nice call. Short," he said.

Reaction on social media was swift. One supporter wrote on Twitter: "he is a business man its called playing hardball."

But others questioned the wisdom of Trump's antagonist approach to dealing with China.

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