Donald Trump spoke on the phone with Taiwan President Tsai Ying-wen, a conversation that breaks decades of U.S. protocol and risks a clash with China.
Trump claimed that she made the call to him.
In any event, it is likely that her people spoke to his people and arranged it all in advance.
Trump’s transition team confirmed late Friday that the president-elect had spoken by phone on Friday with Taiwan’s president, the first conversation between a U.S. president or president-elect with Taiwan’s leader since 1979, when the two countries severed diplomatic ties.
The Financial Times first reported the conversation.
The Taiwanese leader “offered her congratulations” to Trump and the two leaders “noted the close economic, political, and security ties exists between Taiwan and the United States,” according to a statement from Trump’s team.
The phone call will almost certainly infuriate Beijing, which sees Taiwan as a breakaway province.
Jimmy Carter formally declared Beijing the sole government of China in 1979, which ended formal U.S. diplomatic relations with Taiwan.