White House mistakenly refers to China’s leader as the president of Taiwan
The White House mistakenly referred to China’s leader Xi Jinping as Taiwan’s president just hours after Donald Trump spoke of his “wonderful relationship” with Mr. Xi.
The US leader spent 90 minutes discussing North Korea’s trade and nuclear threat with Mr. Xi at the G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany.
A friendly agreement was reached with the head of the Communist Party, saying that it was “an honor to have him as a friend” before the long-awaited meeting.
But an official transcript of the occasion, published by the White House, referred to Xi as president of “The Republic of China,” which is the official name of Taiwan.
The mix was ridiculed by experts in China, who pointed out that Tsai Ing-wen, director of Taiwan, is a democratically elected woman and considers himself a political rival of Mr. Xi. Patrick Chovanec, a former professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing, said the mistakes of former President George Bush.
“I remember when the Bush administration announced the anthem, but it’s pretty bad,” he tweeted. The university referred to a diplomatic mess in 2007 when Mr. Bush’s team played Taiwan’s national anthem as the Chinese ambassador attended the opening ceremony of a China-funded stadium in Grenada in the Caribbean.
Chris Lu, who worked on the team of the White House team of former President Barack Obama tweeted, “Ay White House only refers to Xi Jinping as the leader of the Republic, China, which is Taiwan #AmateurHour.”
The press secretary’s office Sean Spicer has published the official transcript, which quoted President Trump as China’s “important trading partner.”
It is not clear how the error could affect the relations between the two that have been forced sometimes since Mr.
Trump took over. Shortly after his inauguration, the United States leader has sought to provoke a potentially dangerous diplomatic sector with China after speaking with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-Wen.
China says that Taiwan is its own territory and complained after Mr. Trump interrupted decades of diplomatic precedent. In December, the president said in an interview that he did not feel “forced” by China’s ten-year policy, unless the United States can not obtain concessions from China in trade and other fields.
Washington has strong unofficial relations with the island and provides weapons to protect against the threat of using the Beijing force to meet with it.
However, the couple appear to have repaired relationships after Mr. Xi has visited the American leader in the coastal town of Mar-a-Lago in Florida.