Trump on possibility of Tsai meeting: 'We'll see'

Jan 02, 2017, 00:36
Trump on possibility of Tsai meeting: 'We'll see'

President Tsai Ing-wen and her delegation will stop in Houston on January 7 on their way to visit diplomatic allies Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador, Taiwan's official Central News Agency said.

It is not clear whether Tsai Ing-wen will meet the USA president-elect Donald Trump and his team.

The 10-minute conversation December 2 was the closest a Taiwanese leader has come to getting recognition from Washington since the USA established ties with the Communist government in China nearly four decades ago.

Lee's high-profile 1995 USA visit led to the mainland staging a series of missile tests on Taiwan's doorstep.

It is not China that is making aggressive moves in the area, Springmann noted, rather the United States under Barack Obama and his "Pivot to Asia" which is pushing countries like the Philippines towards confrontation with China over the contentious islands in the South China Sea.

Relations between Taiwan and China have cooled significantly since Tsai, which Beijing sees as a staunch supporter of the island's independence from the mainland, took office in May. "Even though we have felt it, we will calmly face them", Tsai said.

But, she added, "We need to face this matter calmly".

Tsai said the transit was unofficial, and speculation about it "excessive".

But the head of China's policymaking Taiwan Affairs Office in his New Year message said this year would see uncertainty.

"Unlike the United States which huffs and puffs and sends supposed underwater drones into Chinese waters, China and the Philippines have agreed by diplomacy to have talks about the resolution of any territorial claims in the region".

Taiwan's leader Saturday urged China to engage in "calm and rational" dialogue to maintain peace, saying China had resorted to military and economic threats to intimidate the self-ruled island. China maintains a standing threat to use force to achieve its goal of absorbing Taiwan. China is Taiwan's largest trading partner, and Taiwan runs a huge trade surplus with China, worth $27 billion in 2015. "Nothing. Taiwan would not last long", the officer said.

Over the past month, the Chinese military has twice dispatched aircraft to fly around Taiwan.

Chinese air force jets have performed similar drills in recent weeks, flying close to the island, though China has officially called the air force and naval exercises routine. The U.S. has since 1979 had no diplomatic relations with Taiwan.

China also scored a diplomatic victory when tiny Sao Tome and Principe switched recognition to Beijing from Taiwan.

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