Trump upends US foreign policy with Taiwan call

A man buying a newspaper featuring a photo of US President-elect Donald Trump, in Beijing on November 10, 2016. The headline reads "Outsider strikes back". President-elect Donald Trump broke with decades of cautious US diplomacy on December 2 to speak with the president of Taiwan, at the risk of provoking a serious rift with China. AFP PHOTO | GREG BAKER

What you need to know:

  • It was not immediately clear whether Trump's telephone call with President Tsai Ing-wen marked a deliberate pivot away from Washington's official "One China" stance, but fuelled fears he is improvising on international affairs.
  • China regards self-ruling Taiwan as part of its own territory awaiting reunification under Beijing's rule, and any US move that would imply support for independence would likely trigger fury.
  • During Friday's discussion, Trump and Tsai noted "the close economic, political and security ties" between Taiwan and the United States, according to the president-elect's office.

US President-elect Donald Trump broke with decades of foreign policy to speak with the president of Taiwan, prompting Beijing Saturday to accuse Taipei of a ploy but saying the move would not affect US-China ties.

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