Trump, Changing Course on Taiwan, Gives China an Upper Hand

By backing down in a telephone call with China’s president on his promise to review the status of Taiwan, President Trump may have averted a confrontation with America’s most powerful rival.

But in doing so, he handed China a victory and sullied his reputation with its leader, Xi Jinping, as a tough negotiator who ought to be feared, analysts said.

“Trump lost his first fight with Xi and he will be looked at as a paper tiger,” said Shi Yinhong

.. Even though many other world leaders had spoken to the new American president by phone since his inauguration on Jan. 20, Mr. Xi had refused to talk to Mr. Trump until he was sure that the American president would give what turned out to be a concession — an affirmation of the One China policy, Mr. Shi said.

.. The tough statements were intended to recall the time in 1995 when China tested missiles near Taiwan, prompting President Bill Clinton to dispatch an aircraft carrier through the Taiwan Strait, near China’s coast.