Cruz, Texas governor meet with Taiwanese
president in Houston
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[January 09, 2017]
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Senator
Ted Cruz and Texas Governor Greg Abbott met with the president of Taiwan
on Sunday during a stopover in Houston that was sure to pique Chinese
leaders already upset by her conversation with President-elect Donald
It is not unusual for U.S. lawmakers to meet with Taiwanese leaders when
they pass through the country, but tensions are high this winter after
Trump, who like Cruz and Abbott is a Republican, spoke to Tsai Ing-wen
The telephone conversation broke with decades of precedent and cast
doubt on his incoming administration's commitment to Beijing's "one
Cruz, who represents Texas, said some members of Congress had received a
letter from the Chinese consulate asking them not to meet with Tsai
during her stopovers.
"The People’s Republic of China needs to understand that in America we
make decisions about meeting with visitors for ourselves," Cruz said in
a statement. "This is not about the PRC. This is about the U.S.
relationship with Taiwan, an ally we are legally bound to defend."
China is deeply suspicious of Tsai, who it thinks wants to push for the
formal independence of Taiwan, a self-governing island that Beijing
regards as a renegade province, ineligible for state-to-state relations.
The United States, which switched diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to
China in 1979, has acknowledged the Chinese position that there is only
"one China" and that Taiwan is part of it."
Tsai scheduled stopovers in San Francisco and Houston on her way to
visit allies in Central America, including Honduras, Nicaragua,
Guatemala and El Salvador.
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Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen exits at the Omni Houston Hotel during
a "transit stop" enroute to Central America, in Houston, Texas,
U.S., January 7, 2017. REUTERS/James Nielsen
Beijing had urged the United States not to let her into the country.
Cruz said he and the Taiwanese leader discussed upgrading bilateral
relations and furthering economic cooperation between their
countries, including increased access to Taiwanese markets that will
benefit Texas ranchers, farmers and small businesses.
Abbott said in a Twitter post that he also met with Tsai on Sunday
and that they discussed “expanding trade and economic
(Reporting by Doina Chiacu and Julia Harte; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)
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