Taiwan issue irrelevant in Trump-Xi summit: experts

2017/04/08 17:29:32 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
(Photo courtesy of AP)

(Photo courtesy of AP)

Taipei, April 8 (CNA) The Taiwan issue was not raised during a just-concluded summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) because their priority was dealing with North Korea's nuclear threat, experts said Saturday.

During a visit to China last month, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reiterated Washington's "one China" policy, making it unnecessary for the two leaders to discuss the issue again, according to Wong Ming-hsien (翁明賢), director of Tamkang University's Graduate Institute of International Affairs and Strategic Studies.

Wong noted that the Trump-Xi summit came in the wake of U.S. air strikes in Syria, a development that is expected to affect relations between the United States and Russia and ties between the United States and China.

On the other hand, responding to North Korea's nuclear program poses a more urgent issue, he said.

Under these circumstances, Washington and Beijing will appear narrow-minded if they continue to focus on the "one China" issue, he said.

Lai I-chung (賴怡忠), a leading member of the Taiwan Thinktank, pointed out that several senior U.S. officials had addressed issues regarding Washington's "one China" policy before the Trump-Xi meeting, and it was within expectations that the two leaders would opt to focus on North Korea and economic issues during the summit.

He said Taiwan should pay attention to a possible visit by Trump to China later this year and the development of U.S.-China disputes over economic issues.

(By Scarlett Chai and Y.F. Low)
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