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Taiwan Is Thrust Into an Unwanted Spotlight

Feb 7, 2018 | 09:00 GMT
With one phone call from Taiwan, U.S. President Donald Trump kick-started a more intense U.S.-Chinese rivalry.

Taiwanese sailors salute the island's flag on the Panshih supply ship after taking part in annual drills at the Tsoying naval base in Kaohsiung on Jan. 31, 2018. Taiwanese troops staged live-fire exercises the day before on Jan. 30 to simulate fending off an attempted invasion. The island's main threat, China, has stepped up pressure on President Tsai Ing-Wen.

(MANDY CHENG/AFP/Getty Images)

All it took was 10 minutes to reverse years of diminishing importance. When U.S. President-elect Donald Trump ignored established diplomatic tradition and accepted Taiwanese leader Tsai Ing-wen's 10-minute phone call congratulating him on his victory, it upset the balance enough to put the island in East Asia back in the...

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