Trump speaks to Taiwan’s leader in move that could anger China | Reuters

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump spoke by phone on Friday with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, a move that is likely to infuriate China and complicate U.S. relations with Beijing.The call was the first such contact with Taiwan by a U.S. president-elect or president since President Jimmy Carter adopted a one-China policy in 1979.Trump said on Twitter that the Taiwanese leader initiated the call. “The President of Taiwan CALLED ME today to wish me congratulations on winning the Presidency. Thank you!” he said.Alex Huang, a spokesman for Tsai, said: “Of course both sides agreed ahead of time before making contact.”The Trump transition team said in a statement that the two leaders noted that “close economic, political and security ties exist between Taiwan and the United States.”Taiwan’s presidential office said the two leaders touched on strengthening bilateral interactions and establishing closer cooperation.There was no immediate comment from China, which is likely to be angered because it views Taiwan as a renegade province.Washington is Taiwan’s most important political ally and sole arms supplier, despite the lack of formal diplomatic ties.The call comes at a time of worsened Taiwan-China relations since the election of Tsai’s pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) earlier this year.The White House responded to the call by saying that “longstanding policy” on China and Taiwan has not changed. “We remain firmly committed to our ‘one China’ policy,” said Ned Price, a national security spokesman for President Barack Obama. “Our fundamental interest is in peaceful and stable cross-Strait relations.”A former diplomat who helped arrange the call and did not want to be identified said Chinese officials he spoke to beforehand said they were not troubled by the call because Trump was not yet president. Trump takes office on Jan. 20.Tsai was one of four world leaders Trump spoke to on Friday, raising questions about whether he is effectively coordinating with the U.S. State Department before reaching out to leaders overseas.Gerrit van der Wees, a former Dutch diplomat who lobbies on behalf of Taiwan, said the call indicated Trump would be less bound by conventions and restrictions in foreign policy and was “signaling a broader change in U.S. policy towards Taiwan.”

Source: Trump speaks to Taiwan’s leader in move that could anger China | Reuters

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