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Taiwan's president tweets congratulations to Trump

Reuters

TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen took to Twitter on Saturday to congratulate U.S. President Donald Trump on his inauguration in a move likely to draw objections from China, already angry with a protocol-breaking phone call a month ago between the two leaders.

"Congratulations @realDonaldTrump. Democracy is what ties Taiwan and the US together. Look forward to advancing our friendship & partnership," Tsai tweeted just minutes after Trump took his oath of office.

Tsai also vowed to deepen the island's ties with the United States, which she said was Taiwan's "most important international ally" and which shared common values of freedom, democracy and human rights, according to a statement by her office.

The question of Taiwan's status has shot to the top of the international agenda since Trump broke with decades of precedent last month by taking a congratulatory telephone call from Tsai.

That, along with subsequent comments by Trump that the "one China" policy was up for negotiation, has infuriated Beijing, which views Taiwan as a wayward province to be brought under its control by force if necessary.

Beijing distrusts Tsai because she leads the Democratic Progressive Party, which traditionally advocates independence for Taiwan.

On Friday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying again rounded on Taiwan for sending a delegation to Trump's inauguration, led by a former premier and including a national security adviser and some lawmakers.

Tsai reactivated her Twitter account during a sensitive transit stop earlier this month in San Francisco, on her way back to Taiwan from visiting Central American allies.

(Reporting by J.R. Wu; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)