Scholars: White House's name gaffe not helping US-China ties

Bryan Strickland
July 12, 2017

U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping held talks on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Hamburg, with the White House issuing a transcript of Trump's comments after they appeared together.

During the meeting, Xi also called for an early meeting of the two states' defence ministers and noted the upcoming agenda of the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff visit to China in August, the first dialogue between the joint staffs of the two militaries in November and the Chinese Navy's participation in the United States-led 2018 Pacific Rim military drill. "But there will be success in the end one way or the other", Trump said.

Geng Shuang, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, reported that when Beijing requested an explanation for the diplomatic faux pas, a Trump administration official referred to it as a technical error. Washington apologised and corrected the error, Geng said at a daily news briefing.

Renmin University global relations expert Shi Yinhong said Monday the gaffe is indicative of how the White House operates under Trump and is not conducive to China-U.S. relations.

"It shows the deficiency in the professionalism on the part of the White House staff in terms of diplomacy", Wang said.

The mistake occurred in the introduction to the statement and was not in the actual text.

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The Republic of China flub was awkward for Beijing, which considers Taiwan part of its territory.

Ties between China and the USA have suffered because of the American relationship with Taiwan, particularly after President Trump spoke on the phone with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen in a break from protocol shortly after his election to the White House.

Then last month, the U.S. administration further provoked the ire of Beijing when it approved $1.3 billion worth of arms sales to the self-ruling island.

On Saturday, according to the White House's transcript, Trump told Xi: "It's an honor to have you as a friend", and called China a "great trading partner".

Nearly six months into office, Trump has yet to fill thousands of government positions.

Other reports by GlobalViralNews

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