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Donald Trump speaks with Taiwan's leader, which could provoke China

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen. (Wally Santana / Associated Press)
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen. (Wally Santana / Associated Press)

President-elect Donald Trump had a potentially provocative phone conversation Friday with Tsai Ing-wen, the president of Taiwan, which could upset delicate relations between the U.S. and the Chinese government.

It is believed to be the first call between a president or president-elect with a Taiwanese leader since 1979, when the U.S. recognized the mainland government and cut ties with Taiwan.

China has long been sensitive to any diplomatic recognition of Taiwan, which it regards as a rogue province. The reaction from China could be sharp.

The Trump transition team confirmed the call Friday in a statement summarizing contacts with four foreign leaders, including leaders from Afghanistan, the Philippines and Singapore.

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