Trump Open to Shift on Russia Sanctions, ‘One China’ Policy
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – US President-elect Donald Trump suggested he would be open to lifting sanctions on Russia and wasn’t committed to a longstanding agreement with China over Taiwan.
In an hour-long interview with the Wall Street Journal, Mr. Trump said that, “at least for a period of time,” he would keep intact sanctions against Russia imposed by the Obama administration in late December in response to Moscow’s alleged cyberattacks to influence November’s election. But he suggested he might do away with those penalties if Russia proved helpful in battling terrorists and reaching other goals important to the US.
“If you get along and if Russia is really helping us, why would anybody have sanctions if somebody’s doing some really great things?” he said.
He also said he wouldn’t commit to America’s agreement with China that Taiwan wasn’t to be recognized diplomatically, a policy known as “One China,” until he saw what he considered progress from Beijing in its currency and trade practices.
The desire to change relations with Moscow in particular has been a goal of American presidents since tensions began rising. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sought the same goal early in the Obama administration, as did President George W. Bush, who met Mr. Putin early in his first term.
But Mr. Trump’s diplomatic efforts will have to compete with those in Congress, including many Republicans, who want to see the administration take a tough line with Russia after US intelligence claimed that the government of Mr. Putin sought to influence the November presidential election with a campaign of cyberhacking.
Mr. Trump in the interview suggested he might do away with the Obama administration’s Russian sanctions, and he said he is prepared to meet with Mr. Putin some time after he is sworn in.
“I understand that they would like to meet, and that’s absolutely fine with me,” he said.
Asked if he supported the One China policy on Taiwan, Mr. Trump said: “Everything is under negotiation including One China.”
Though he has long been critical of China, Mr. Trump also made a point of showing a holiday greeting card he received from China’s leader, Xi Jinping.
“I have a beautiful card from the chairman,” he said.
Speaking of Taiwan, he said: “We sold them $2 billion of military equipment last year. We can sell them $2 billion of the latest and greatest military equipment but we’re not allowed to accept a phone call. First of all it would have been very rude not to accept the phone call.”
Mr. Trump has said in the past he would label China a currency manipulator after he takes office. In the interview, he said he wouldn’t take that step on his first day in the White House. “I would talk to them first,” he said.
He added: “Certainly they are manipulators. But I’m not looking to do that.”