By Yuko Mukai / Yomiuri Shimbun Correspondent TAIPEI — Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen met in Houston with a former U.S. State Department official who is seen as a leading candidate for a position in the administration of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned from diplomatic sources.
Tsai met with Randall Schriver while she was in the United States on Saturday and Sunday, the sources said. This is the first confirmed contact between Tsai and a person with close ties to Trump. Tsai stopped by Houston on the way to Central America.
China, which sees Taiwan as its territory and has demanded the United States continue to uphold the “one China” policy, strongly objected to Tsai’s visit to the United States. The meeting appears to signal that the incoming U.S. administration will take a hard line against China, and could further escalate tensions between the two countries.
Tsai and Schriver dined together and were joined by Walter Lohman, director of the Asian Studies Center at the Heritage Foundation, a U.S. think tank.
Schriver served as deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs under former U.S. President George W. Bush. He is seen as being friendly to Taiwan and tough on China, and has called for increasing U.S. arms sales to Taiwan.