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This post was edited by sfphoto at 2016-12-8 09:24|
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Last week's telephone call between President-elect Donald Trump and Taiwan's president was the result of six months of behind-the-scenes work by former Sen. Bob Dole acting on behalf of the Taiwanese government, The New York Times reported Wednesday. The call was a breach of diplomatic protocol, and Trump advisers have made conflicting statements about whether it signaled a new policy toward China.
Dole, a former Senate Republican leader and the 1996 Republican presidential nominee, told the Times that the Taiwanese leadership is "very optimistic" about the incoming Trump administration.
"They see a new president, a Republican, and they'd like to develop a closer relationship," the paper quoted Dole as saying. The newspaper referred to disclosure documents filed last week with the Justice Department showing that Dole, now a Washington lobbyist, coordinated with Trump's campaign and his transition team to set up a series of meetings between Trump's advisers and officials in Taiwan. Dole's firm, Washington law firm Alston & Bird, received $140,000 from May to October for the work, the report said.The phone call between Trump and Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-Wen was a break from nearly four decades of diplomatic practice and drew immediate complaints from China.Taiwan split from China in 1949, but China still considers the island part of its territory and would consider it unacceptable for the U.S. to recognize Taiwan's leader as a head of state.