Taiwan president says more infrastructure spending possible to boost economy

Alicia WestJan 01, 2017

Earlier this month, Trump said he did not feel "bound by a one-China policy", leading China to warn that any changes to US dealings with Taiwan could damage diplomatic relations between Beijing and Washington. "This will test the resilience of all of our national security team and the overall government".

Taiwan will not bend to pressure despite China returning to its "old ways" of intimidation, President Tsai Ing-wen said Saturday, following Beijing's protests over her call to U.S. President-elect Donald Trump.

Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen speaks during the New Year's Eve news conference in Taipei on December 31, 2016.

China considers Taiwan its territory and does not recognize the island's government.

"President Tsai's transit through the United States is based on long-standing USA practice and is consistent with the unofficial nature of our relations with Taiwan", Alys Spensley, acting spokeswoman for the American Institute in Taiwan, told Reuters.

The 10-minute telephone call also cast doubt on the new U.S. administration's commitment to the "One China" policy that regards Taiwan as part of China.

China suspended contacts with Tsai's administration in June over her refusal to endorse China's claim that Taiwan and the mainland are part of a single Chinese nation.

Trump said the call was "very nice" and was to congratulate him on winning the presidential election.

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.

Trump also accepted a December 2 phone call from Tsai, the first time an American president or president-elect has publicly spoken to Taiwan's leader since 1979.

Washington also acknowledges Beijing's position that there is only one China and Taiwan is its territory. "Let's hit them hard", said an official in Beijing who meets regularly with China's most senior military officers, including those who work directly with President Xi Jinping. The Taiwanese president is planning to transit in the United States on her way to and from visiting Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador in that order.

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