Taiwan gaffe spurs apology from the US

Taiwan gaffe spurs apology from the US

Taiwan gaffe spurs apology from the US

China on Monday (10 July) said that the White House had apologised for the gaffe it made during the G20 summit by wrongly addressing Xi Jinping as the president of "Republic of China", which is actually the official name of Taiwan.

Geng Shuang, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, reported that when Beijing requested an explanation for the diplomatic faux pas, a Trump administration official referred to it as a technical error.

On the other hand, US President Donald Trump praised the "wonderful relationships" with Xi Jinping and expressed his confidence in the successfully common handling problems alongside China.

He called for concerted efforts on such matters as the visit to China in August by the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, the first dialogue between the joint staffs of the two countries' militaries in November and the Chinese Navy's participation in the United States-led 2018 Pacific Rim military drill. Tsai Ing-wen is the strongest woman politician in the region. Chinese scholars said the error shows a lack of competence in the White House that is not conducive to healthy US-China relations.

"It is basic knowledge for those working in diplomacy, yet this isolated incident shows how incompetent the White House staff are, how casual they are, and how poorly coordinated they are", Shi Yinhong, a professor of global relations at China Renmin University, said.

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Still, it was likely to have ruffled feathers in Beijing since China claims self-ruled Taiwan as part of its territory, to be brought back into the fold by force if necessary.

The gaffe has gone largely unreported in China because the local media have no motivation to mock Trump, Shi said.

"It shows the deficiency in the professionalism on the part of the White House staff in terms of diplomacy", Wang said.

The U.S. government recently approved $1.42 billion in arms sales to the island.

At a White House briefing in February, Spicer twice mispronounced Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's name as "Trunbull".

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