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China lodges 'solemn' objection to 'petty' Trump-Taiwan call

China on Saturday lodged its expected objections to President-elect Donald Trump's acceptance of a phone call from Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen in a sharp break with diplomatic habit. American and Taiwanese leaders are last known to have spoken directly in 1979 as the United States does not formally recognize Taiwan as an independent nation, separate from China.

"We have noticed relevant reports and lodged solemn representation with the relevant side in the United States," said a representative from China's Foreign Ministry. "The 'one China' principle is the political foundation of China-U.S. relations." Earlier comments from Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi place the blame squarely on "petty" Taiwan.

Trump on Twitter defended the call, noting that he did not initiate it and suggesting it is hypocritical to avoid normal diplomatic relations with Taiwan given American weapon sales to the island. "Interesting how the U.S. sells Taiwan billions of dollars of military equipment," he said, "but I should not accept a congratulatory call."