Last week, the U.S. President-elect Donald Trump accepted a phone call fromTaiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen and discussed common economic and security interests with Taipei. The phone call also offered Tsai an opportunity to congratulate Trump on his surprising election victory last month over Democratic favorite Hillary Clinton.
Normally such a call would be benign, but due to the delicate role Taiwan plays in relations between China and the United States, the call has raised alarm bells on the clarity and caution by which Trump will conduct his relations with the world's second biggest economy.
Having a direct exchange with the Taiwanese leader broke with the "one-China" policy to which the U.S. has adhered for nearly four decades. Acceptance of this policy over the years has been bipartisan and not breached even during the low points in Washington's ties with Beijing.
China regards Taiwan as part of its inherent territory and has always been tough on attempts by either Taipei or the international community to legitimatise its status as independent.
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