Photo of Donald Trump and Tsai Ing-wen from The Telegraph

Incoming US President Donald Trump tweeted on Twitter today (Dec 3) dismissing his critics over the furor on his phone call with Taiwan, that the United States sells billions of military arms to Taiwan and yet he is not allowed to take a phone call from their President.

“The President of Taiwan CALLED ME today to wish me congratulations on winning the Presidency. Thank you!”

“Interesting how the U.S. sells Taiwan billions of dollars of military equipment but I should not accept a congratulatory call.”

On Friday (Dec 2), Donald Trump received a congratulatory call from Taiwan elected President Tsai Ing-wen over his successful presidency. The two president spoke for around 10 minutes and according to the Trump administration, the two leaders only exchanged diplomatic pleasantries:

“During the discussion, they noted the close economic, political, and security ties exists between Taiwan and the United States. President-elect Trump also congratulated President Tsai on becoming President of Taiwan earlier this year.”

This is the first official exchange between US and Taiwan since 1979, when the past US administration then abided by the “One-China” policy by cutting off direct communication with Taiwan. Critics slammed Donald Trump for being ignorant of the policy and reacted that US-China relationship may be strained from the phone call.

China Foreign Minister Wang Yi however dismissed the phone call as merely a “trick from the Taiwanese”, as the latter initiated the call to Donald Trump. The Chinese foreign minister added that he “hoped” US-China relationship will not be “interfered or damaged” after the call.

This response from China however raises eyebrow from independent observers as China has always taken a tough stance on countries who “upset” their One-China policy. Some critic pointed out that China is being wary and playing safe because Donald Trump is “relatively unknown” as compared to the previous incumbent US administrations. As Donald Trump is establishing US diplomatic ties with Russia again, it is likely the China authority is likely to re-negotiate with US on past differences during Obama’s times like the currency exchange dispute and South China Sea.

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