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Washington refutes rumor over possible 4th U.S.-China communiqué

A senior White House official is expecting another statement from the U.S. following the Trump-Xi meeting, which is likely to address North Korea and trade issues

Washington refutes rumor over possible 4th U.S.-China communiqué

(CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – As U.S. President Donald Trump’s Asia trip is coming up in early November and a scheduled meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping, rumors about a possible fourth U.S.-China communiqué are escalating. On Monday, a senior White House official dismissed the rumor, saying it’s “groundless.”

As was announced in late September by Washington, Trump will travel to Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Hawaii, from November 3 to 14. Trump is scheduled to arrive in Beijing and meet Xi on November 8.

Speculation has mounted in local media that a new communiqué could be signed during the Trump-Xi meeting in Beijing. A local Chinese-language media cited an unnamed source saying that Trump has met pro-China former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who advocates an “advanced relationship with China” to strengthen U.S. leadership in the world and thinks “a joint communiqué with China” is necessary following the three communiqués inked between early 1972 and 1982.

The three documents played a crucial role in the normalization of relations between the U.S. and China, showing Washington’s China policy from “acknowledging Beijing’s desire for a unified China” to “recognizing Beijing government as the sole legal government of China” at the expense of formal political relations with Taiwan.

The Chinese-language report went on warning that Taiwan should not take his opinion on China policy lightly and that it added the possibility that another communiqué between the two could be signed, further shrinking Taiwan’s international space.

Taiwan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs responded to the rumor earlier this month at a legislative hearing, saying it would be “unwise” for the U.S. to sign “a fourth communiqué” with China.

In an October 23 press briefing, a senior White House official made this clarification in response to a question raised by Taiwanese media Central News Agency about the rumor. The official said they did hear of the rumor but stressed that the United States has been very clear on its promises to Taiwan over decades, and the rumor is totally groundless.

The official emphasized that the Trump-Xi meeting will mainly address North Korea and trade issues, saying a statement from the U.S. is expected to come following the meeting.