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Taiwan's president stops in U.S. en route to Central America

Allen Cone

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen talks with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump on December 2. She arrived Saturday in the U.S. en route to Central America as part of her nine-day trip. Photo courtesy of Office of the President of Taiwan
Taiwan's president is headed to Central American after stopping overnight in Houston but doesn't plan to meet with President-elect Donald Trump or any members of his transition team during her nine-day trip.
Tsai Ing-wen flew from Houston to Honduras on Sunday and plans to attend the inauguration Tuesday of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega. She will then travel to Guatemala and El Salvador before stopping in San Francisco on Friday night en route home.
Tsai hasn't said who she might contact in the United States.
She spoke with Trump by phone on Dec. 2. There are no formal diplomatic relations between the United States and Taiwan. Prior to last month's chat, no American president or president-elect had spoken to any Taiwanese leaders since President Jimmy Carter in 1979 cut off official communications with the nation at the request of China.
China's foreign ministry filed an official complaint to the United States about the call.
China is also unhappy with her visit to the U.S., saying her "transit diplomacy" is a "hidden political agenda [that] should be clear to all."
During her visit last June on her way to Panama and Paraguay, she met with Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.
The American Institute in Taiwan, which is the de facto U.S. embassy in Taipei, says her stopovers are a courtesy the U.S. government provides to Latin America-bound Taiwan leaders and are for private business only.

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