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    Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen delivers a speech before traveling to visit Central American allies including a U.S. transit, Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017, at the Taoyuan International Airport in Taouyuan, Taiwan. Tsai pledged to bolster Taiwan's presence on the international stage on her visit four Central American allies on a trip that includes U.S. transits and looks set to raise China's ire.

    Taiwan Leader Angers China With Transit Stop in San Francisco

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    President of Taiwan Tsai Ing-Wen visited San Francisco for a brief stay on her return from a tour to Central America, despite China’s demands her stopover be blocked.

    She was met at the city's airport by James Moriarty, chairman of the board of the American Institute in Taiwan, which manages the unofficial relationship between the US and the island. Several hundred supporters were awaiting Tsai at the entrance to the hotel, flanked by US and Taiwan flags, according to Taiwan's Central News Agency.

    China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs had previously called on the US not to allow the transit and openly opposed any contact between Donald Trump's transition team and Tsai in fear that she may push for the formal independence of Taiwan, which is currently regarded by Beijing as a breakaway Chinese province.

    US President-elect Donald Trump said in an interview published in The Wall Street Journal that he was not committed to the 1979 agreement with China under which Washington recognized the country's sovereignty over Taiwan. Experts believe that he will use his opposition to nearly four decades of the "one-China" policy as leverage in trade talks with Beijing.

    Beijing was also angered by Trump's phone conversation with Tsai last month when she called to congratulate him on his November 8 election victory.

    "And why should some other nation be able to say I can't take a call?" Trump questioned in an interview with Fox News. "I think it actually would've been very disrespectful, to be honest with you, not taking it."

    In San Francisco, Tsai was scheduled to visit technology companies and attend a luncheon with Taiwanese expatriates. She didn't appear to have met with any representatives of the Trump team before returning to Taiwan in the afternoon.

    Tsai's stay in San Francisco came as Ed Royce, chairman of the US House Foreign Affairs Committee, along with other pro-Taiwan members of the US Congress had introduced legislation that encourages visits between the United States and Taiwan at all levels.

    "By encouraging more frequent visits between our two governments, including at the highest levels, we will further strengthen the critical US-Taiwan partnership," Taiwanese media quoted him as saying in a statement.    

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    visit, Tsai Ing-wen, Donald Trump, China, United States, Taiwan
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