Donald Trump has questioned whether the United States should continue its “One China” policy.
The 1979 policy has respected China’s stance on Taiwan, which it sees as a breakaway province.
However, the president-elect said that without concessions from Beijing on trade and other issues, he did not see why that should continue.
The US relations with China became strained when Donald Trump took a phone call from Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen.
Donald Trump went on to post a series of tweets criticizing China for its exchange rate policy and its operations in the South China Sea.
Speaking in an interview with Fox News broadcast on December 11, Donald Trump said: “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.”
He also said China was not co-operating with the United States on its handling of its currency, on North Korea, or on tensions in the South China Sea.
In the same interview, Donald Trump said he “doesn’t believe” a CIA assessment that Russian hackers tried to sway the presidential election in his favor.
Donald Trump’s decision to take a phone call from the Taiwanese president earlier this month was a break with US diplomatic tradition and prompted a formal protest from China.
No US president or president-elect had spoken directly to a Taiwanese leader for decades.
In the Fox interview, Donald Trump said it was not up to Beijing to decide whether he should take a call from Taiwan’s leader.
“I don’t want China dictating to me and this was a call put into me,” he said.
“It was a very nice call. Short. And why should some other nation be able to say I can’t take a call?
“I think it actually would’ve been very disrespectful, to be honest with you, not taking it.”