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President-Elect Trump Speaks to President of Taiwan, Risking Feud With Beijing

© Flickr / Gage SkidmoreDonald Trump
Donald Trump - Sputnik International
US President-elect Donald Trump spoke with Taiwanese President Tsai Ying-wen on Friday, marking what appears to be the first presidential contact between the nations since 1979 when diplomatic relations were ended.

The move could potentially lead to a major diplomatic dispute with China.

“The US has adopted the so-called ‘One China’ policy since 1972 after the Nixon-Mao meetings and in 1978 President Jimmy Carter formally recognised Beijing as the sole government of China, with the US embassy closing in Taipei the year after,” the Financial Times explained.

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump gestures to the news media as he appears outside the main clubhouse at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, U.S., November 20, 2016. - Sputnik International
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The Taipei Times reported that Tsai was planning to congratulate Trump on his election win and to assert that Taiwan wishes to continue maintaining a steady relationship with the US. She was also expected to “express hopes for expanded Taiwan-US collaborations on the economy, politics and regional security.”

Tsai may also be meeting with top aides to the Trump administration early next month in New York, during a layover on a trip to Central America, the Taiwan Times has reported. The paper cited unconfirmed reports asserting that she may meet with prominent Republican Reince Priebus, who has visited Taiwan before, or his transportation secretary-designate, Taiwanese-born Elaine Chao.

​“The Chinese leadership will see this as a highly provocative action, of historic proportions,” Evan Medeiros, former Asia director at the White House national security council, told the Financial Times.

“Regardless if it was deliberate or accidental, this phone call will fundamentally change China’s perceptions of Trump’s strategic intentions for the negative. With this kind of move, Trump is setting a foundation of enduring mistrust and strategic competition for US-China relations,” Medeiros said.

Trump has also spoke to the Afghan president and the Prime Minister of Singapore, his transition team is reporting.

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