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March 30, 2017

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U.S. stands by its 'One China' policy ahead of Trump-Xi summit: official

The U.S. State Department said Monday that there has been no change to the country's "One China" policy following Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping in Beijing last week.

"Our stance on Taiwan is, apart from encouraging good, increasingly strong cross-strait relations, that we stand by our 'One China' policy," State Department spokesman Mark Toner said in response to a reporter's question on whether Tillerson's use of phrasing in Beijing signaled a shift on issues such as Taiwan or Tibet.

"Not at all," Toner replied.

Observers noted that Tillerson used Beijing's preferred catchphrases regarding Sino-American relations including the building of "mutual respect" and "win-win" cooperation during a meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

Analysts say that Beijing's usage of "mutual respect" carries the connotation that each side not interfere with each other's "core interests," which for China include Taiwan, Hong Kong, Tibet and and its territorial claims in the South China Sea.

Ahead of next month's highly anticipated summit between Trump and Xi in Florida, Mainland Affairs Council Chairwoman Katharine Chang said Monday that the island must not become a pawn and urged the U.S. to carry out its promises to Taiwan.

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