Trump scrambles to mend fences with China as Mexico fiasco re-erupts
President Trump said he would honor the U.S.’ longstanding “One China” policy during a Thursday night phone call with Chinese President Xi Jinping, an effort to ease diplomatic tensions between the two powers.
The two leaders spoke by phone, the White House said in a statement, their first phone conversation since Trump’s inauguration.
“The two leaders discussed numerous topics and President Trump agreed, at the request of President Xi, to honor our ‘one China’ policy,” according to the White House.
The policy dictates that Washington recognizes Beijing as the only official government of China and will not establish formal relations with its rival, Taiwan.
The White House described the Trump-Xi call as “lengthy” and “extremely cordial,” and said both men had extended invites to visit their respective countries.
Well, at least one call with a foreign leader not named Putin has gone well for a change – unlike the continuing messy back-and-forth with Mexico, including pushback from a Mexican official concerning reports that he and Jaerd Kushner influenced the language of a Trump declaration:
Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray on Thursday rejected a CBS news report that he had made changes to U.S. President Donald Trump’s speech announcing an executive order for the construction of a border wall with Mexico.
“I never thought I would use this phrase, but today I’m doing it: FAKE NEWS,” Videgaray said on social network Twitter, after CBS News quoted unnamed Mexican officials as saying he had worked with Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to tone down the speech.
Trump wants to put up a border wall to keep illegal immigrants from entering the United States, but his insistence that Mexico will pay for it has been the source of friction between the two governments.
In a report on Thursday, CBS News said Kushner last month showed a speech Trump was preparing to deliver at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to Videgaray, who was horrified, and the two changed the speech to cast the future of U.S.-Mexico relations in a more positive light.
Then Kushner, who is also a senior adviser to Trump, went with Videgaray to brief Trump on the reworded version, and the president was ultimately convinced to accept the changes, it added.
Asked about the report, Videgaray told Reuters: “I played no part whatsoever in drawing up the president’s speech.“