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Trump hints at lifting sanctions against Russia, changing ‘One China’ policy

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Washington:US President-elect Donald Trump has hinted at lifting sanctions against Russia and said he was not committed to the longstanding ‘One-China’ policy.

The incoming President who is scheduled to take office on January 20, suggested he would be open to lifting sanctions against Russia if Moscow proved helpful in battling terrorists and reaching other goals important to the US, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

Trump said he will keep the sanctions, imposed by the Obama administration on Moscow for its alleged cyber attacks to influence last year’s US presidential election, “at least for a period of time”.

Trump said he was not committed to the agreement with China over Taiwan, a sign that he would use any available leverage to realign the US’s relationship with its biggest strategic partner.

He said he would not commit to America’s agreement with China that Taiwan was not to be recognised diplomatically, a policy known as ‘One China’, until he saw progress from Beijing in its currency and trade practices.

Trump said: “Everything is under negotiation including ‘One China’.”

He seemed impatient with diplomatic protocols involving China and Taiwan. After his victory the Republican took a congratulatory phone call from Taiwan’s leader, triggering objections from Beijing and stoking concerns among some US foreign policy experts who questioned whether he understood the implications of such a conversation.

Trump said he was prepared to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin some time after he takes office.

“I understand that they would like to meet, and that’s absolutely fine with me,” he said.

Trump’s spokesman Michael Flynn early on Friday said the President-elect’s pick for National Security Adviser took a phone call from Russia’s Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak late last month.

The two discussed setting up a call between Trump and Putin after the Republican is sworn in next Friday.

At his first news conference after winning the White House race, Trump on Wednesday accepted the conclusion that Russia indeed sought to influence the presidential election with hacking.

But he quickly added that Russia was not the only country that launched cyber attacks against the US.

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