Speed Reads

Diplomatic departures

Trump may lift Russia sanctions and nix the 'One China' policy

President-elect Donald Trump may lift U.S. sanctions against Russia if relations between the two countries improve during his time in office, he indicated in an interview published by The Wall Street Journal Friday. "If you get along and if Russia is really helping us, why would anybody have sanctions if somebody's doing some really great things?" Trump asked, though he noted he will not make any major changes "at least for a period of time."

Trump also suggested possible diplomatic shakeup with China, announcing that "everything is under negotiation including 'One China,'" the long-time U.S. policy of formally accepting Beijing's claim that Taiwan is not a separate nation. "We sold them $2 billion of military equipment last year," he said of Taiwan. "We can sell them $2 billion of the latest and greatest military equipment but we're not allowed to accept a phone call. First of all it would have been very rude not to accept the phone call," Trump added, referring to the diplomatic kerfuffle over his acceptance of a congratulatory call from the Taiwanese president soon after the election.

Still, the president-elect made a point to highlight the holiday greeting he received from Chinese President Xi Jinping, saying, "I have a beautiful card from the chairman."