Ted Cruz Irks China, Meets Taiwan Leader

Move comes amid tense relations after Trump phone call
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 9, 2017 6:20 AM CST
Ted Cruz Irks China, Meets Taiwan Leader
Sen. Ted Cruz addresses the Federalist Society's National Lawyers Convention in Washington on Nov. 18, 2016.   (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Ted Cruz has joined his rival-turned-ally Donald Trump in tweaking China. The Texas senator met with Taiwan's president Sunday when she stopped in Houston on her way to Central America, reports the AP. Cruz made a point to show that he was defying the wishes of China in doing so, saying that he and other Texas lawmakers received a "curious letter" from the Chinese consulate asking that they avoid meeting Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen in deference to the "One China" policy, reports the Guardian. "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.

The meeting probably wouldn't have generated much attention if not for the recent tensions between Trump and Beijing, with Reuters noting it's not unusual for US lawmakers to meet Taiwanese leaders when they're in the US. The discussions centered on "arms sales, diplomatic exchanges, and economic relations," said Cruz. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott also met with Tsai. China made clear again Monday that it's not pleased, with a foreign ministry spokesman saying that "we are firmly opposed to the Taiwan leader's engagement with US officials under the pretext of transit." And the state-run Global Times newspaper warned of "revenge" if Trump, who broke with protocol in accepting a phone call from Tsai after his election win, ditches the One China policy as president. (More Ted Cruz stories.)

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