Sunday 19/05/2019 - 09:59 pm

Trump-Taiwan call: China lodges protest

2016.12.03 12:44

 Chinas foreign ministry says it has lodged a complaint with the US after President-elect Donald Trump spoke to Taiwans leader in a phone call.

China sees Taiwan as a breakaway province. US policy set in 1979 cut all formal relations with Taiwan.

However, Mr Trumps transition team said he and Tsai Ing-wen noted "close economic, political, and security ties" in a phone call.

China said it had lodged a "solemn representation" with Washington.

According to the state news agency Xinhua, China urged the US "to cautiously, properly handle Taiwan issue to avoid unnecessary disturbance to Sino-US relations".

Earlier, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi dismissed the call as a "petty trick" by Taiwan, Chinese state media said.

What happened?

Mr Trump tweeted on Friday that Ms Tsai had called him to congratulate him on winning the US election.

His team said that the US president-elect had also congratulated Ms Tsai on becoming the president of Taiwan last January.

It is highly unusual for a US president or president-elect to speak to a Taiwanese leader directly.

Following media reports pointing out the risks of angering China, Mr Trump tweeted: "Interesting how the US sells Taiwan billions of dollars of military equipment but I should not accept a congratulatory call."

The White House has said Mr Trumps conversation does not signal any change in US policy. US media reported that the White House learned of the call only after it had happened.

Mr Trumps spokeswoman said he was "well aware" of US policy towards Taiwan.

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