Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen said Tuesday that her controversial phone conversation with President-elect Donald Trump four days ago does not indicate a policy shift and instead reflected a way for her to “express [her] respect for the U.S. election.”
Speaking to a small group of journalists in Taipei, Taiwan’s capital, Tsai Ing-wen said that “one phone call does not mean a policy shift” and instead was a way of congratulating Trump on his victory. “I do not foresee major policy shifts in the near future because we all see the value of stability in the region,” she added, according to The Washington Post.
Last Friday, Trump went where no U.S. commander-in-chief had gone since diplomatic relations were restored with China in 1979—by speaking directly to President Tsai Ing-wen. The island-state of 23 million is essentially an independent country but Beijing still considers it a renegade province to be reclaimed by force if necessary.
Following the 10-minute conversation, which Trump confirmed on Twitter, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement saying that “China firmly opposes any official interaction or military contact between [the] U.S. and Taiwan,” Chinese state media reported. China also approached the Obama administration for clarification, though White House officials declined to reveal the details of what was said.
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