Taiwan's presidential office says news reports that President Tsai Ing-wen met with a member of US President-elect Donald Trump's transition team are not true.
The Liberty Times report quoted an unnamed source as saying that President Tsai had met with Edwin Feulner during a transit stop in Houston on her way to Central America.
Feulner is a former president of the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. The source also said that Feulner was part of Trump's transition team.
However, the presidential office in Taipei said Monday morning that the report was inaccurate. It said that not only had Feulner not met with Tsai, he was not even in Houston at the time of the president's transit. The presidential office source also said that it's up to Trump to identify who is a part of his transition team rather than having outsiders speculate.
Meanwhile, the deputy head of Taiwan's National Security Council, Harry Tseng, who is traveling with Tsai, declined to comment on who the president had met in Houston. He was responding to a question on board Tsai's flight on Sunday, local time
We met with a number of American friends. But in keeping with our mutual understanding, and our respect for our friends in the United States, we are unable to give any further information," said Tseng.
Taiwan's president is often accorded a high-level of security and respect during transit stops in the United States. That's despite the fact that the US holds official diplomatic ties with the People's Republic of China, rather than the Republic of China, which is the official name of Taiwan. The transit stops are often low-profile so as not to make things difficult for US-China ties.
Source: Radio Taiwan International