Trump Breaks Protocol, Calls Taiwan

Donald Trump spoke on the phone with Tsai Ying-wen, the president of Taiwan on Friday, risking a diplomatic dispute with China prior to his inauguration. It is believed to be the first contact between a president-elect in the United States and the leader of Taiwan since diplomatic relations were cut in 1979. “The Chinese leadership will see this as a highly provocative action, of historic proportions,” said Evan Medeiros, former Asia director at the White House national security council. A previous report alleged that Trump was interested in expanding business in Taiwan.

In a statement later Friday, Trump’s transition team confirmed that the call took place. “During the discussion, they noted the close economic, political, and security ties exists [sic] between Taiwan and the United States,” the statement said. “President-elect Trump also congratulated President Tsai on becoming President of Taiwan earlier this year.”

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