Sat, Apr 29, 2017 - Page 1 News List

Taiwan, US should stay in contact: presidential office

Staff writer, with CNA

Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang speaks at a news conference in Taipei in an undated photograph.

Photo: Su Fang-ho, Taipei Times

Taipei and Washington should stay in communication and not rule out any possible form of bilateral dialogue, Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang (黃重諺) said yesterday, after US President Donald Trump in an interview on Thursday spurned President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) suggestion of another telephone call between the two leaders.

Huang said Taiwan understands the priorities of the US government with regard to regional affairs and stressed the mutual trust between the two nations.

“We do not have any such plans for the time being,” Huang said in a statement, regarding the possibility of a telephone call between Tsai and Trump.

During an interview in Taipei on Thursday, Tsai said that her administration would not exclude the possibility of another telephone call with Trump.

When asked whether she will seek further communication with Trump, Tsai said her administration is looking forward to more direct dialogue with the US government on significant issues, according to the full text of the interview released by the Presidential Office.

"While we will not exclude the opportunity to call [US] President [Donald] Trump himself, but it depends on the needs of the situation and the US government’s consideration of regional affairs," Tsai said.

Tsai’s remarks were her “passive responses to Reuters’ hypothetical questions,” Huang said.

The president wanted to “stress that Taiwan and the US should maintain close communications and not rule out any possible form” of dialogue, Huang said.

Trump, as US president-elect, took a congratulatory telephone call from Tsai in early December last year. It was the first known contact between leaders of the two sides since the US switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979.

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