Home GRASP/China Taiwan’s ‘wise’ Tsai makes low-key US stop, ‘reduces risk of riling Beijing’

Taiwan’s ‘wise’ Tsai makes low-key US stop, ‘reduces risk of riling Beijing’


NewsHubTaiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen did not meet US president-elect Donald Trump or members of his team during her stopover in the United States on the weekend, avoiding a move that would have riled a jittery Beijing. A spokeswoman for Trump’s transition team, Jessica Ditto, said in an email on Saturday there would be no meetings between Tsai and officials representing the president-elect in the US, the ­Associated Press reported. Tsai arrived in Houston on ­Saturday on her way to Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala and El ­Salvador. She will stop off in San Francisco after her visit to Central American allies before flying back to Taiwan. Analysts said any meeting ­between Tsai and Trump officials would have seriously angered Beijing, which is concerned Trump may abandon decades of US policy towards Taiwan when he takes office. Trump has questioned why the US should continue to abide by the one-China principle under which it does not recognise Taiwan as a sovereign state. Beijing was also angered by a telephone call between Tsai and Trump in December when she congratulated the president-elect on his win in the polls. Taiwan and the mainland have been governed separately since Kuomintang forces fled to the island in 1949 after losing the civil war to communist forces. Beijing considers Taiwan a breakaway Chinese province. Tsai kept a low profile after her arrival in Houston, with analysts suggesting this was the best strategy with the risk of the stopover increasing the ire of Beijing.

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