Trump talk with Taiwan leader a 'courtesy call': US VP-elect Pence
Washington (AFP) - President-elect Donald Trump's controversial telephone conversation with the leader of Taiwan was just a "courtesy call," US Vice President-elect Mike Pence said Sunday.
"It was nothing more than taking a courtesy call from a democratically elected leader," Pence told ABC News, speaking about the Friday call between Trump and Taiwan's Tsai Ing-wen, which broke decades of US diplomatic policy and risks creating a serious rift with China.
No US president or president-elect has spoken to a Taiwanese leader since then-president Richard Nixon agreed in 1978 to Beijing's "One China" policy.
China regards self-ruling Taiwan as part of its own territory awaiting reunification, and any US move implying support for independence -- even calling Tsai "president," as Trump did in a tweet announcing the call -- prompts grave offense in China.
Chinese state media said that Trump's "inexperience" led him to accept the phone call, but warned that any breach of the One China policy would "destroy" Sino-US relations.