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Taiwan sees ties with China, U.S. as equally important: official

2016/12/03 13:51:18

Taipei, Dec. 3 (CNA) Taiwan values its ties with both China and the United States and the country's efforts to improve the two sets of relations do not conflict with each other, a Presidential Office spokesman said Saturday.

Spokesman Alex Huang (黃重諺) made the comments when asked whether the government is concerned that a call between President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and U.S. President-elect Donald Trump could lead to backlash in Taiwan's relations with China.

"As far as Taiwan is concerned, good relations across the Taiwan Strait and good relations with the United States are equally important and both are very helpful to peace and stability in the region," he said.

Shrugging off a comment by a senior Chinese official, Huang said the improvement in both sets of ties is a goal toward which Taiwan is working and efforts made in the two areas are parallel and do not conflict with each other.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi was quoted by media as saying the call between Tsai and Trump was merely a "little trick" by Taiwan and would not change the one-China framework that has already been established in the international arena.

Beijing sees Taiwan as part of China and has vigorously obstructed attempts by the Republic of China (Taiwan) to have any official contacts with other nations or to take part in international activities.

Huang confirmed that it was Tsai who made the call to Trump following a pre-arranged procedure. He declined to give other details about the arrangement.

But a source familiar with the matter said that Edwin Feulner, founder of the Washington-based Heritage Foundation, played a key role in setting up the call. Feulner, who met with Tsai during a visit to Taipei in October, joined the Trump team in August, according to U.S. media reports.

(By Lu Hsin-hui and Jay Chen)