- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 17, 2009

SHANGHAI (AP) — President Barack Obama says he sees no need to change Washington’s “one-China” policy, which acknowledges China’s position that Taiwan is part of its territory.

Taiwan and China split amid civil war in 1949. Beijing threatens to attack if Taiwan moves to formalize its de facto independence.

The U.S. “one-China” position acknowledges China’s view on Taiwan, but it does not explicitly recognize China’s sovereignty over Taiwan, and nor does it recognize Taiwan as a sovereign country.

“I have been clear in the past that my administration fully supports a one-China policy,” Obama said Monday. “…We don’t want to change that policy and that approach.”

Obama says he is “very pleased” with the reduction in tensions between China and Taiwan. The relationship has improved significantly since new leadership took over in Taiwan last year.

At a town hall in Shanghai, Obama did not address a question submitted on the Internet from a person in Taiwan about U.S. arms sales to the island, which have angered the Chinese government. The U.S. is obligated by law to provide Taiwan with weapons to defend itself against a possible Chinese invasion.