The American president, Donald Trump, made clear to Beijing last week that Washington will not end arms sales to Taiwan and will continue to provide Taiwan with weapons of a defensive nature. That’s the word from a White House official cited by the Washington Free Beacon. Trump visited China last week as part of a 12-day Asia trip.
Trump and the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, mentioned Taiwan at their meeting though they did not bring up the matter at the press conference afterwards. The White House official cited in the report said China raised its opposition to US arms sales to Taiwan. Trump in response said that the US abides by its One China policy on the basis of the Three Communiques and the Taiwan Relations Act. He said the US will provide defensive weapons to Taiwan in line with its obligations under law.
The Washington Free Beacon report said there was no discussion of a fourth joint communique on Taiwan nor any talk of a “grand bargain” between the two presidents.
Three joint communiques concerning Taiwan were issued by the US and China in 1972, 1979 and 1982. The Taiwan Relations Act of 1979 legislated for US ties with Taiwan after Washington switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing.