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(LEAD) Trump agrees to honor 'one China' policy in 'extremely cordial' phone call with Xi: White House

All Headlines 05:01 February 11, 2017

(ATTN: UPDATES with Trump press conference with Japan PM; ADDS byline)
By Chang Jae-soon

WASHINGTON, Feb. 10 (Yonhap) -- U.S. President Donald Trump said Friday he had a "very good" and "very warm" conversation with Chinese President Xi Jinping, a day after the phone call in which he agreed to honor the "one-China" policy of diplomatically recognizing only Beijing, not Taiwan.

"I had a very, very good conversation, as most of you know, yesterday, with the President of China. It was a very, very warm conversation. I think we are on the process of getting along very well and I think that we'll also be very much of a benefit to Japan," Trump said in a joint news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

"We had a very, very good talk last night and discussed a lot of subjects. It was a long talk and we are working on that as we speak. We have conversations with various representatives of China. I believe that, that will all work out very well for everybody, China, Japan, the United States and everybody in the region," he said.

(LEAD) Trump agrees to honor 'one China' policy in 'extremely cordial' phone call with Xi: White House - 1

The call on Thursday was the first between the two leaders not only since Trump's inauguration, but also since his November election, and could signal a warming of relations that have become tense with Trump's repeated criticism of Beijing over trade, North Korea and other issues.

In the "lengthy" conversation, the two leaders "discussed numerous topics and President Trump agreed, at the request of President Xi, to honor our 'one China' policy," the White House said in a statement issued late Thursday night.

"Representatives of the United States and China will engage in discussions and negotiations on various issues of mutual interest. The phone call between President Trump and President Xi was extremely cordial, and both leaders extended best wishes to the people of each other's countries," the White House said.

"They also extended invitations to meet in their respective countries. President Trump and President Xi look forward to further talks with very successful outcomes," it said.

The phone conversation was a stark departure from Trump's repeated accusations so far that China has been engaged in unfair trade and currency practices hurting American businesses, and failed to exercise enough pressure on North Korea to rein in the provocative regime.

He had even raised questions why the U.S. should stick to the "one-China" policy of diplomatically recognizing only Beijing, not Taiwan, and spoke by phone with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, the first time in decades that a U.S. president or president-elect has done so, in a breach of the decadeslong diplomatic tradition.

jschang@yna.co.kr
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