The unprecedented call between Donald Trump and the president of Taiwan last week was arranged by former senator and presidential candidate Bob Dole, according to a Monday night report in the Wall Street Journal citing an unnamed transition official.
“It’s fair to say that we may have had some influence,” Dole told the Wall Street Journal, confirming that the law firm he works with had a role in setting up the call.
The Wall Street Journal also reported that the call “included a discussion about China and stability in the Asia-Pacific,” citing an unnamed person “familiar with the call.”
Trump’s call with the president of Taiwan sparked criticism, since Trump broke protocol by becoming the first U.S. leader to speak directly with the president of Taiwan in decades. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said on Monday that U.S. officials have since reached out to China to address the tension created by Trump’s call. He said the officials confirmed the United States’ commitment to the One-China policy, through which the U.S. has recognized Taiwan as a part of China while also maintaining a relationship with Taiwan.
Trump’s call, which had reportedly been in the works for weeks, prompted a warning from China on Saturday.
“It must be pointed out that there is only one China in the world,” the Chinese foreign ministry said in a statement. “We urge the relevant side in the U.S. to adhere to the ‘one China’ policy, abide by the pledges in the three joint China-U.S. communiques, and handle issues related to Taiwan carefully and properly to avoid causing unnecessary interference to the overall China-U.S. relationship.”
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang also indicated in a Monday press briefing that the country had expressed its unhappiness about the call directly with Trump’s team, according to the Wall Street Journal.