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US apologizes for confusing China with Taiwan

CGTN | Tue,2017-07-11


The United States issued an apology on Monday for a White House statement that mistakenly identified China’s leader, Xi Jinping, as the president of the Republic of China, the formal name for Taiwan.

“The United States side apologized and said this was a technological error that has already been corrected,” said Geng Shuang, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry. 

In December, Donald Trump, as president-elect, accepted a telephone call from Taiwan leader Tsai Ing-wen, which broke with decades of United States precedent and was considered a snub of Beijing. The US severed formal ties with Taiwan in 1979 as part of the One China policy under which it recognizes Beijing as the government of China.

The erroneous reference was in the heading of a White House transcript, released on Saturday, of presidential remarks before a bilateral meeting between Mr. Xi and Mr. Trump at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany.  Mr. Xi is the president of the People’s Republic of China.

The blunder was on a handful of press materials issued by the White House during the summit. This was one of several misidentifications by the White House.  Mr. Trump’s Instagram account briefly identified Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore as President Joko Widodo of Indonesia, according to Singapore news outlets. Another White House statement called Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe “President Abe of Japan”.