President Trump flexes his foreign policy

China had been angered by earlier remarks by Mr. Trump, questioning Beijing's sovereignty over Taiwan under the one-China principle.

If his first phone call with Xi as US President is any indication, then President Trump would appear to be taking a much softer tone toward China than he did during his presidential campaign and directly following his election.

While Trump honored the policy, statements from both sides did not mention the other contentious issues of trade and the South China Sea or reports of a near-miss between Chinese and USA aircrafts in the disputed territory.

Mr Wilder added: "By reasserting the commitment to the one China policy, President Trump opens the ground for a constructive dialogue with Beijing on the hard but resolvable issues of rebalancing the trading relationship that has tilted in Beijing's favour". Trump had previously been critical of China and their trade policies, sparking fears of a large scale trade confrontation. The letter was hand delivered by Mike Flynn: "As a gesture of conciliation, Flynn and his deputy, K.T. McFarland, hand-delivered the letter to China's ambassador to the United States, Cui Tiankai". Both sides absolutely can become very good cooperative partners, ' Xi said.

The move has been seen by some as a backtrack from remarks made by Trump in December, in which he suggested that US support for the policy might be contingent on a trade deal with Beijing.

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For all of the bluster and the noise of the last few months, and the stress this has put on relations between the world's two biggest economies, Mr Trump now finds himself back exactly where three decades of USA presidents have been before him, acknowledging what China said was the starting point all along.

When he was president-elect, Trump took a telephone call from Taiwan's president, Tsai Ing-wen.

More important to Taiwan is the Six Assurances, which have been reaffirmed by new U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recently, Lo said.

The one-China policy is the basis for diplomatic recognition by China of all countries, including Ireland.

The White House released a statement Thursday evening describing the "lengthy" call between Trump and Xi as "extremely cordial".

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He wrote that he is looking forward to working with Xi to "develop a constructive relationship" that benefits both countries, the White House said in a statement. It also wished the Chinese people a happy Lantern Festival and a successful Year of the Rooster.

Xi had sent a congratulatory letter on the day of the President's inauguration.

"The "one China" policy is a bottom line (for China)".

"Effectively tackling China-US ties serves the very interest of the two peoples and is an expected duty shouldered by China and the US, the two major countries, for the world", Xi said.

Lu Kang, a spokesperson for China's foreign ministry, said that Trump's holiday greetings had been "highly appreciated".

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