NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Donald Trump’s conversation with Taiwan’s president continued to spark controversy Saturday, but the president-elect stands by his position.
Trump’s 10-minute phone call on Friday led China to lodge a diplomatic protest with the United States.
Diplomatic ties with Taiwan were severed in 1979 after the U.S. formally recognized Beijing as China’s sole goverment, but Taiwan and the U.S. still maintain unofficial relations.
China’s Foreign Minister said the call was a “small trick” by Taiwan.
After hearing some initial criticism, Trump tweeted, “The President of Taiwan CALLED ME today to wish me congratulations on winning the Presidency. Thank you!”
Gordon Chang, author and China expert who wrote the article “Why Donald Trump’s Taiwan Call Changes Everything,” said the U.S. needs to rethink its relationship with Taiwan.
“Our policy right now is not sustainable. What we’re doing is undermining a friend, a free society, to help an authoritarian state that attacks our values,” he said. “Also we’re undercutting our own geopolitical interests because Taiwan is strategically important.”
Trump’s former campaign manager Kellyanne Conway declined to answer questions about the call Saturday.
The president-elect spent most of his day at Trump Tower, although there were no major announcements. He still needs to pick half his Cabinet, including his nominee for Secretary of State.
Vice President-elect Mike Pence was in New Orleans on Saturday to support Republican Senate candidate John Kennedy.
Meanwhile, the White House urged the Trump team to use the State Department’s help and expertise as it deals with world leaders.