13:37 GMT +313 December 2018
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    (FILES) This combo of file photos shows Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (L) in St. Louis, Missouri on October 9, 2016 and Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen in Panama City on June 27, 2016

    Taiwanese President Says Phone Call With Trump Does Not Mean US Policy Shift

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    Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen said on Tuesday that his recent phone talk with US President-elect Donald Trump did not signify a shift in Washington's policy and was rather an extension of courtesy.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Trump spoke with Tsai on Friday in a move that broke with the White House’s four-decade-long policy on what China considers its breakaway province.

    "Of course I have to stress that one phone call does not mean a policy shift… The phone call was a way for us to express our respect for the US election as well as congratulate president-elect Trump on his win," Tsai told reporters in Taipei, as quoted by the South China Morning Post.

    Trump emphasized in a tweet the talks were not his initiative and added that President Tsai congratulated him on his November 8 victory. Vice President-elect Mike Pence on Sunday stated that it was merely a "courtesy call."

    After Chinese Nationalist forces were defeated by Mao Zedong’s Communists, the Nationalist government moved to Taiwan in 1949. Since then, Beijing has viewed the self-ruled, democratic island as a breakaway province. The United States, along with many other countries, does not recognize Taiwan as a sovereign nation and sticks officially to a "One China" position, but has kept informal relations with the island after severing diplomatic ties with it in 1979.


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