In call with Taiwan, Donald Trump gambles with US-China ties

Call between U.S. president-elect and Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-Wen threatens to upset diplomacy over disputed South China Sea

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Taiwanese president’s phone call with US President-elect Donald Trump breached diplomatic protocol.

A telephone call between US President-elect Donald Trump and his Taiwanese counterpart has raised tensions with China.

This is the first known direct contact between leaders of the two countries since Washington broke off diplomatic relations with Taiwan in 1979.

Trump in a tweet insisted that Taiwan had called him to offer congratulations on his presidential win, but other reports suggest that the talk was coordinated by Trump's team and officials in Taipei

Beijing considers the island of Taiwan to be part of China because of disputes that have their roots in the Chinese Communist revolution in 1949. 

American diplomats have been careful not to upset a key trading partner, but Trump's call has outraged Chinese officials. 

"Some of the progress that we have made in our relationship with China could be undermined by this issue flaring up," said White House spokesman Josh Earnest. 

Kilmeny Duchardt has the report.

TRTWorld and agencies