President-elect Donald Trump spoke Friday with Taiwan’s president, a major departure from decades of U.S. policy in Asia and a breach of diplomatic protocol with ramifications for the incoming president’s relations with China.
Trump spoke by phone with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks said. The conversation was first reported by the Financial Times and the Taipei Times.
The call is the first known contact between a U.S. president or president-elect with a Taiwanese leader since the United States broke diplomatic relations with the island in 1979. China considers Taiwan a province, and news of the official outreach by Trump is likely to infuriate the regional military and economic power.
A spokeswoman for Taiwan in the United States said she could not immediately confirm that the conversation took place, and said she was seeking guidance from Taiwan.
The Taipei Times reported ahead of the call Friday that it was arranged to congratulate Trump on his election victory last month and to express hopes for an expanded relationship with the United States.
The United States has pursued what it calls a “One China” policy since 1972, when then-President Richard Nixon visited China. In 1978, President Jimmy Carter recognized Beijing as the only government of both mainland China and Taiwan, and Washington closed its embassy in Taiwan a year later.
Via , The Washington Post