China says U.S. has apologized for mistakenly labeling Xi president of Taiwan

China says U.S. has apologized for mistakenly labeling Xi president of Taiwan

China says U.S. has apologized for mistakenly labeling Xi president of Taiwan

Trump, who spent close to 90 minutes with the Chinese premier at the G20 Summit in Germany, told Xi that it was "an honour to have you as a friend".

In a press statement on US President Donald Trump's meeting with China's leader, the White House named Xi as head of the "Republic of China". "The United States side apologised and said this was a technological error that has already been corrected". The call was the first contact between a leader of Taiwan and an incumbent or incoming USA president in almost 40 years.

The mistake, which was quickly rectified, became the White House press service's second embarrassing gaffe for the day, after they incorrectly referred to the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as "President Abe of Japan".

Separately, some Singapore news outlets reported that Trump's Instagram feed confused the leaders of Singapore and Indonesia in captioning a photo of him meeting with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Following the 1945 establishment of the island nation as separate from mainland China, Beijing has referred to Taiwan as a Chinese territory, a claim consistently refuted by Taipei, a longtime U.S. military and economic ally. China does whatever it can to undermine the self-governed island's worldwide recognition, blocking its participation in global organisations and refusing to have diplomatic ties with the small number of nations that recognise it. The United States severed formal ties with Taiwan in 1979 as part of the so-called One China policy under which it recognises Beijing as the government of China. This angered China and it asked Trump to respect its "one-nation" policy.

Trump has come under fire for failing to fill thousands of slots in his administration, with his White House staff, in particular, being faulted for poor organizational skills.

The Republic of China blunder calls to mind another memorable one back in 2006 when US President George W. Bush greeted Chinese President Hu Jintao at the White House with the Chinese national anthem which was announced as being the "national anthem of the Republic of China".

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