Trump backs "One China" policy towards Taiwan in first phone call with Chinese president

In his first conversation with Mr Xi since entering the Oval Office, Mr Trump said the White House would honour the “One China” policy under which the US recognises Beijing — and not Taipei — as the seat of the Chinese government.

The White House confirmed that the leaders had spoken — as first reported by the Financial Times — and that Mr Trump had “agreed at the request of President Xi to honour our ‘One China’ policy”. It added that the phone call was “extremely cordial”.

Lu Kang, spokesman for China’s foreign ministry, said on Friday the conversation had been a “very good call” and added that “both sides have been in close communication ever since President Trump’s inauguration”.

The FT reported in December that Mr Trump had spoken to Tsai Ing-wen, the Taiwanese president, in what was the first conversation between a US president or president-elect and a Taiwanese leader since Washington and Beijing established diplomatic ties in 1979. China responded by accusing the US of interfering in its internal affairs.