Former AIT Chairman Offers Trump Advice for Xi Jinping Meeting

taiwan passport
Photo by SJ32, via Wikimedia Commons

Former chairman and managing direction of the American Institute of Taiwan Richard Bush published a guide of things US President Donald Trump should and shouldn’t do during his first meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping next week.

The guide, titled “A One-China Policy Primer,” provides insights into how to handle the meeting between the two world leaders. Bush notes on the first page that “The One-China policy of the United States is not the same thing as the One-China principle of the People’s Republic of China.”

The policy primer is a comprehensive and easy-to-understand guide for any head of state who is not familiar with the delicate nature of such subjects.

In his recommendations section of the guide, Bush writes, “DO NOT state as the position of the U.S. government that Taiwan is a part of China” and “DO urge both Beijing and Taipei to conduct cross-Strait relations with flexibility, patience, creativity, and restraint.”

When it comes to specifics of Taiwan, Bush adds, “DO work with Taiwan to find ways to enhance its international role and participation in international governmental institutions where it is not a member” and “DO consult in advance with leaders of Taiwan on any changes in U.S. policy toward the island—either positive or negative—before making them. Taiwan’s leaders are the best judges of whether those steps will serve their interests” as well as “DO continue interactions with Taiwan’s defense establishment on how to strengthen deterrence.”

Following the introduction that includes the dos and don’ts of the US-China meeting, Bush goes into more detail about cross-strait relations and the US’s role in the matter. At the end of the guide, he repeats the dos and don’ts to ensure they are still clear.

In response to Trump accepting a congratulatory phone call from Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen and then speaking with Xi about the one-China policy, Bush writes, “I remained worried, however, that the issue is not settled once and for all. The president could have used a stronger verb than ‘honor,’ and the White House statement about the phone call said that Trump made this commitment at Xi’s request.” Trump’s actions as well as Bush’s perception of the president’s personality led him to write the guide.

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