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    Texas Gov. Abbott, Ted Cruz Meet With Taiwan Leader Despite Beijing's Outcry

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    US officials have met with Taiwan's leader Tsai Ing-wen in Texas to discuss energy, trade relations and commercial ties as well as arms trade, despite China's protests.

    MOSCOW  (Sputnik) — Texas governor Greg Abbott and senator Ted Cruz met with Taiwan's leader Tsai Ing-wen, while she was passing through Texas on her way to Central America, Abbott's and Cruz's Offices said in statements.

    "Governor Greg Abbott today met with Her Excellency, Tsai Ing-wen, President of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in Houston to discuss energy, trade relations and commercial ties between Taiwan and the State of Texas. Governor Abbott and President Tsai discussed ways to increase trade relations with Taiwan, particularly in the exchange of natural gas and agricultural products, of which Taiwan is a major consumer," the Abbott's Office statement published on Sunday said.

    As regards Cruz, he discussed with Tsai such issues as arms sales, diplomatic exchanges and economic ties.

    "The People’s Republic of China needs to understand that in America we make decisions about meeting with visitors for ourselves. This is not about the PRC. This is about the U.S. relationship with Taiwan, an ally we are legally bound to defend. The Chinese do not give us veto power over those with whom they meet. We will continue to meet with anyone, including the Taiwanese, as we see fit," Cruz said in a statement, adding that US-Taiwan relations were not on the negotiating table.

    The US-Chinese relations worsened in December 2016 after US President-elect Donald Trump had a phone call with Tsai. Trump became 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 nation in 1979 in favor of pursuing a one China policy with the government in Beijing.

    On December 11, Trump said he would not be bound by the "One China" policy regarding relations with Taiwan. Later in the month, Trump said that he did not exclude the possibility of a meeting with Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen, who will pay a working visit to the Latin American countries in January with a stop in the United States. Beijing sharply reacted to the issue, called on the United States to block Tsai from stopover.

    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 the "One China" position, but has kept informal relations with the island after severing diplomatic ties with it in 1979.

    The three joint communiques issued between 1972 and 1982 outline the framework for the diplomatic relations between China and the United States and reaffirm the latter's commitment to the united China.


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