WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – China considers Taiwan a renegade province and has never renounced the possibility of using military force to reunite the island with the mainland.
"The relationship between the United States and Taiwan is an unofficial one, but it is not frozen," Earnest said. "After all, Taiwan is the ninth-largest trade partner of the United States."
Earnest stressed that even though outgoing President Barack Obama has not had official contact with Tsai since her election in May, several US officials are in touch with Taiwan’s government on a regular basis.
Trump is the first US president or president-elect to speak with a Taiwanese leader in an official capacity since the United States severed ties with the island in 1979 in favor of recognizing the government in Beijing as the only Chinese state.