Taiwan's Tsai: no major policy shifts, despite Trump call - reports

Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen speaks on the phone with U.S. president-elect Donald Trump at her office in Taipei, Taiwan, in this handout photo made available December 3, 2016. Taiwan Presidential Office/Handout via REUTERS

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said she does not anticipate any major policy shifts affecting the region despite her unprecedented call with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump that deeply rankled China, according to media reports on Tuesday.

In a meeting with a small group of American reporters, Tsai played down the significance of the exchange last Friday with Trump. The telephone call was the first with a U.S. president-elect or president since President Jimmy Carter switched diplomatic recognition to China from Taiwan in 1979.

The call prompted a diplomatic protest from Beijing on Saturday and, on Monday, reassurance from the Obama administration that Washington is committed to the “One China” policy. China regards Taiwan as a renegade province.

“I have to stress that one phone call does not mean a policy shift,” Tsai told reporters from U.S. outlets that included USA Today, National Public Radio and the Washington Post.

“I do not foresee major policy shifts in the near future because we all see the value of stability in the region,” she added, according to the reports.

Tsai added: “The phone call was a way for us to express our respect for the U.S. election as well as congratulate President-elect Trump on his win.”

Republican Trump, a real estate developer who has never previously held public office, takes office on Jan. 20 after winning the Nov. 8 election.

In a statement on the meeting with journalists, Tsai’s office made no mention of her remarks regarding the call with Trump.

Instead, it said Tsai told journalists that Taiwan and the United States shared many common values and that Taiwan was a major market for U.S. exports.

Writing by Susan Heavey; Editing by Frances Kerry