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Trump has 'historic' phone conversation with Taiwan president

ROC Central News Agency

2016/12/03 08:37:18

Washington, Dec. 2 (CNA) U.S. President-elect Donald Trump spoke with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on the phone Friday in what is described as "a first since the diplomatic ties between the United States and Taiwan were cut off" nearly 38 years ago.

According to a press release issued by the Trump transition team, the president-elect "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," according to the press release.

"President-elect Trump also congratulated President Tsai on becoming President of Taiwan earlier this year," it said without giving other details about the conversation.

Tsai was among four "world leaders" that Trump spoke with during the day, according to the press release. The other three, all from Asia, were President of Afghanistan Mohammad Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte of the Philippines and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore.

In its headline, Financial Times of London said Trump "risks China rift" with the call to Tsai. The paper said the call was "the first from a U.S. president-elect since (bilateral) diplomatic relations were cut in 1979."

The Agence France Presse quoted an unidentified member of the Trump transition team as saying that Trump and Tsai discussed the possibility of closer cooperation on issues related to economy, politics and security.

There were no immediate comments from Taiwan's presidential office.

The press release from the Trump transition team, which was also sent to reporters by e-mail, was missing from the transition website as of 17:45 EST, with the web page showing a message that said "file not found."

China sees Taiwan as part of its territory and has vigorously obstructed any official contacts between Taiwan and other nations. Taiwan currently is recognized by only about two dozen countries, mainly in Central America, the Caribbean and the Pacific.

(By Rita Cheng)

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