U.S. Vice President-elect Mike Pence says
last week’s phone conversation between President-elect Donald Trump and Taiwanese president Tsai
Ing-wen was “nothing more than a courtesy call”. In several interviews on U.S. news outlets
on Sunday, Pence described the call as one of more than 50 that the president-elect has
taken and made to world leaders. The talks sparked public criticism as some
said it could threaten ties between the U.S. and China. China has publicly downplayed the talks, calling
it “a small trick by Taiwan”. Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi said Beijing
hopes its political foundation with Washington will not be damaged.