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Taiwan's president calls China a 'threat,' predicts turbulent 2017

Taiwan's president calls China a 'threat,' predicts turbulent 2017

Tsai's office announced that she would be making an overnight stop in Houston on her way to the Latin American visits on January 7, and a brief stop in San Francisco on her return trip on January 15.

Taiwan's pledge to maintain peace and stability has not changed and its goodwill toward China has not changed, she said, adding that Taiwan will not be pressured.

Tsai will stop in Houston on January 7 en route to the self-governing island's allies Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador, Taiwan's official Central News Agency reported.

Tsai Ing-wen will make a stopover in United States during her visit to meet allies in Latin America, ruffling feathers in the Chinese establishment, Reuters reported.

Tsai remained low-key about her U.S stopovers, the most important part of her upcoming trip, and did not elaborate on her itinerary.

Asked about any possible aggressive moves from China, Taiwan defense ministry spokesman Chen Chung-shi said: "We are fully prepared, and plan for the worst while preparing for the best".

She has said she wants to maintain the cross-strait status quo and handle ties in accordance with the constitution of the Republic of China - Taiwan's official title.

Beijing has since cut the number of Chinese group tours traveling to Taiwan and has insisted that cross-strait relations can not move forward without the "1992 consensus" serving as the foundation of bilateral exchanges.

Trump also accepted a December 2 phone call from Tsai, the first time an American president or president-elect has publicly spoken to Taiwan's leader since 1979.

Over the past month, the Chinese military has twice dispatched aircraft to fly around Taiwan. Two days later, the Liaoning passed south of Taiwan and entered the disputed waters of the South China Sea.

The call with Trump upended decades of diplomatic precedent in which Washington has effectively ignored Taipei in favor of Beijing, which considers Taiwan a breakaway province to be brought back within its fold.

Taiwan Foreign Minister David Lee has warned that other allies of Taipei could sever ties to curry favor with China.

Tsai also irked China this month by making a 10-minute phone call to President-elect Donald Trump.

The Taiwanese news agency's report said Tsai's delegation would arrange banquets with US -based Taiwanese people and visit companies.

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