Trump Meets Chinese President Xi, White House Miscalls Him President of Taiwan

White House Confuses Taiwan And China In Painful G20 Press Release Blunder

White House 'appoints' China's Xi President of Taiwan, Abe President of Japan in press release gaffe

The United States has apologized for mistakenly identifying Chinese President Xi Jinping as the leader of Taiwan in a statement, China's Foreign Ministry said Monday.

"The U.S. side has expressed that they are sorry for this technical error and they have made a correction", Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said of the misidentification during a regular news briefing Monday. The official name of Xi's presidency is the People's Republic of China, something which the White House failed to take note.

Chinese scholars believe the mistaken identity of addressing Xi as Taiwan's president shows a lack of competence in the White House, the Associated Press reported. Tsai Ing-wen is the strongest woman politician in the region. "But there will be success in the end one way or the other", Trump said. Though Trump defended the call at the time, he later told Xi he would honor the "one China" policy and not recognize Taiwan's status as a sovereign nation.

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"It is basic knowledge for those working in diplomacy, yet this isolated incident shows how incompetent the White House staff are, how casual they are, and how poorly coordinated they are", observed Shi Yinhong, a professor of worldwide relations at the Renmin University of China.

The gaffe has gone largely unreported in China because the local media have no motivation to mock Trump, Shi said.

The White House did not immediately comment on the diplomatic blunder. "It's a politically sensitive mistake that should not have occurred".

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But Xi's title was not Washington's only flub last week: a separate news release called Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe "President Abe of Japan".

The U.S. government recently approved $1.42 billion in arms sales to the island.

America remains Taiwan's most powerful ally despite having no official relations with Taipei for decades.

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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.

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