President-elect Donald Trump spoke with the president of Taiwan by phone on Friday, in a move likely to infuriate Beijing.
A call by the US president to any president of Taiwan would risk endanger China-US relations, but the situation is particularly fraught because Taiwan’s current president, Tsai Ing-wen, has stated that she believes Taiwan is independent from China.
Tsai, who entered office in January, is a member of the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party and is openly against the “one-China principle.”
The “One China principle” states that “there is but one China and Taiwan is part of China”
Beijing views Taiwan as a province of China, whereas Taiwan — which has its own democratically elected government — has a more complicated view of the nations’ relationship.
“I am not clear what the U.S. means when they use the term ‘entity.’ For us here in Taiwan, we believe that we are a country, a democratic country,” Tsai said in a Washington Post interview in July, referring to Washington’ stance on Taiwan as viewing it as an entity, not a country.
“It is indeed unfair,” Tsai said of Taiwan not being recognised in the world.
China suspended suspended diplomatic talks with Taiwan in June.
Chinese president Xi Jinping publicly snubbed the Taiwan government during a high-profile meeting with Taiwan’s opposition leader last month, warning that Taiwan will be limited in access to mainland’s highest levels of power unless it
accepts the idea being part of China, the Associated Press reported.
The US suspended formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan in 1979 after establishing a One China position in an effort to establish diplomatic channels with Beijing.
US’ unofficial diplomatic office in Taipei is called American Institute in Taiwan, and its counterpart in Washington, D.C. is called Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the US.
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