WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Donald Trump sounds ready to use U.S. policy toward Taiwan as a bargaining chip to extract concessions from China, but both of the world powers could play at that game.
China's rising economic and military clout means its communist leadership has leverage over Washington too. Beijing could erect more obstacles for U.S. companies working in China. It could ramp up tensions in the seas of East Asia. And if differences spike over Taiwan, the Trump administration could face tough choices on whether to send U.S. forces to defend the island that China regards as part of its territory.
There's been a delicate diplomatic balance since 1979 when the U.S. shifted formal recognition to China from Taiwan. Under the so-called "one China" policy, Washington acknowledges China's claim to Taiwan but retains close informal ties and supplies the self-governing island with weapons. Trump said Sunday that he didn't feel "bound by a one-China policy," drawing Chinese condemnation.
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