US President-elect Donald Trump said the United States did not necessarily have to stick to its long-standing position that Taiwan is part of "one China," questioning nearly four decades of policy in a move likely to antagonize Beijing.
Trump's comments on "Fox News Sunday" came after he prompted a diplomatic protest from China over his decision to accept a telephone call on Dec. 2 from Taiwan's president.
"I fully understand the 'one China' policy, but I don't know why we have to be bound by a 'one China' policy unless we make a deal with China having to do with other things, including trade," Trump told Fox.
Trump's call with President Tsai Ing-wen was the first such contact with Taiwan by a US president-elect or president since President Jimmy Carter switched diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China in 1979, acknowledging Taiwan as part of "one China."
Beijing considers Taiwan a renegade province and the subject is a sensitive one for China.