Axios Feb 10, 2017
SaveSave story
Facts Matter

Why U.S. presidents respect the "one China" policy


President Trump, before he took office, took a phone call from the president of Taiwan. It didn't go well. But in a call with the leader of China, Trump has now agreed to respect the "one China" policy.


In 1949, China split between the mainland, ruled by Communists, and Taiwan, ruled by Nationalists. In 1992, the two agreed that there was one China. In practice, that's meant China leaves Taiwan alone, while Taiwan doesn't try to declare formal independence.

The current ruling party in Taiwan, the DPP, wants to declare independence. That means they won't always abide by One-China niceties. For the U.S. government, that requires being careful about things like taking phone calls from the head of state in Taiwan (especially when the DPP is in power).


Trump used China as a punching bag during the campaign, saying they're stealing our jobs and tanking our economy. The phone call from Taiwan was an escalation of that. But if the Trump call with China has been reported accurately, it looks like even the Trump administration recognizes the benefits of respecting the status quo. And one reason that matters is because of the South China Sea.

Mike Allen 42 mins ago
SaveSave story

Why Trump added a streetfighter to his legal team

Screenshot via Fox News

A new addition to President Trump's legal team — Joe diGenova, a former U.S. attorney who is well-known in Washington and has argued for the president on Fox News — reflects three White House realities.

The state of play: (1) The White House is digging in for a fight that looks to be longer and messier than officials had expected. (2) This is another example of the president responding to televised cues. Trump has spent most of his adult life in litigation, and obsesses about legal positioning in the same way that he is consumed by his press coverage. (3) It's another pugilistic voice at the table, and suggests that this weekend's attacks on Mueller won't be the last.

SaveSave story

Facebook reaches a tipping point

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios 

Of all the news crises Facebook has faced during the past year, the Cambridge Analytica scandal is playing out to be the worst and most damaging.

Why it matters: It's not that the reports reveal anything particularly new about how Facebook's back end works — developers have understood the vulnerabilities of Facebook's interface for years. But stakeholders crucial to the company's success — as well as the public seem less willing to listen to its side of the story this time around.