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Washington, Dec. 12 (CNA) President Barak Obama's administration reiterated its adherence to the one-China policy on Monday in the wake of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's telephone call with Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Dec. 2 and his latest comments on the policy.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest told a daily briefing that the U.S. government under the leadership of President Barack Obama has been and remains firmly committed to the one-China policy and will not use the Taiwan issue to gain leverage in any dealings with Beijing.
The policy has been pursed by previous U.S. presidents from both parties and the country has benefited from adherence to that policy, Earnest said.
"One reason that we have pursued that policy is because the Obama administration does not view Taiwan and our relationship with Taiwan as a bargaining chip," he said. "Taiwan is not a source of leverage."
Noting that Taiwan is the ninth largest trading partner of the United States, Earnest said "bargaining that away is not something that this administration believes is in our best interest" or in the interest of Taiwan.
Earnest said what Washington has been able to do by pursuing the one-China policy is to have a close partner in Taiwan and a constructive relationship with China.
He said that historic progress on global warming and efforts to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon could not have occurred without China's effective cooperation.
Earnest said that the kind of progress that benefits the American people and China is much more difficult if tensions are heightened over the one-China policy.
Earnest was responding to a press query on the policy after Trump told Fox News Sunday over the weekend that he wouldn't feel "bound by a one-China policy unless we make a deal with China having to do with other things, including trade."
In addition, when asked about his take on Trump's comments about the one-China policy, State Department Spokesman John Kirby said the U.S. administration remains firmly committed to the policy.
The U.S. one-China policy is based on the three joint communiques and the Taiwan Relation Acts.
This policy has supported Washington's fundamental interest in peaceful and stable cross-strait relations through both Democratic and Republican administrations over the past 40 years, Kirby said, adding that altering this approach does not serve the fundamental interests of the U.S, strengthen relations with the people of Taiwan or improve our ability to shape China's decisions going forward.
(By Rita Cheng and Evelyn Kao)