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Tsai-Trump phone call symbol of friendship: MOFA

ROC Central News Agency

2016/12/06 14:24:45

Taipei, Dec. 6 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen's (蔡英文) phone call with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump last week was a symbol of friendship between the two sides, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) official said Tuesday.

Taiwan has maintained very good partnerships with both the Democratic Party and Republican Party of the United States and has many friends in both the conservative and liberal camps, according to Eleanor Wang (王珮玲), a ministry spokeswoman.

The MOFA will continue to pay attention to the formation of Trump's security and foreign affairs team and strengthen contact with the new U.S. administration, she said during a regular press briefing.

Asked whether the phone call will be helpful to Taiwan's efforts to promote relations with the United States, Wang said: "I don't think there is other way to see it."

She stressed that the call was a symbol of friendship and that the government will continue to strengthen such friendship.

It is premature to say whether the new administration under Trump will adjust Washington's policy toward Taiwan, she added.

Asked if Taiwan has received any inquiries from the American Institute of Taiwan or the U.S. State Department after the phone call, Wang said she had no information in this regard.

In a break with decades of diplomatic precedent, Trump took a congratulatory call from Tsai on Dec. 2, the first publicly reported call between a Taiwanese leader and a U.S. president or president-elect since 1979, when Washington switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing.

China reportedly has lodged a diplomatic protest with the U.S. over the phone conversation. Beijing sees self-governing Taiwan as part of its territory, to be united by force if necessary.

(By Tai Ya-chen and Y.F. Low)

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