U.S. President-elect Donald J. Trump spoke with President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan by phone today, breaking almost 40 years of non-contact between presidents of the two country. The U.S. broke diplomatic relationship with the Republic of China, commonly known as Taiwan, to recognize the People’s Republic of China in 1979. Mr. Trump was criticized by State Department officials for not following diplomatic protocols, while the White House quickly reaffirmed the one-China policy. Mr. Trump defended his actions through tweets:
Trump campaign also issued a description of the call:
President-elect Trump spoke with President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan, who offered her congratulations. During the discussion, they noted the close economic, political, and security ties exists between Taiwan and the United States. President-elect Trump also congratulated President Tsai on becoming President of Taiwan earlier this year.
Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi has attributed the unexpected call to be a “petty action” by President Tsai’s government, and asserted that nothing will be changed in Sino-American relationship. While some consider this deviation from traditional U.S. policy to be a signal for change in Trump’s presidency, it remains to be seen whether actual change will happen once Mr. Trump takes office in January.