Trump Organisation 'contacted Taiwan mayor about possible hotel investment'

The Trump Organisation denies it has any projects planned in Taiwan

Samuel Osborne
Sunday 04 December 2016 09:11
Donald Trump breaks US policy stance with Taiwan call

Weeks before Donald Trump's controversial conversation with Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen, a businesswoman claiming to be associated with the Trump Organisation reportedly expressed interest in investing in luxury hotels near the island's airport.

The mayor of Taoyuan, Cheng Weng-tsan, said a representative of the Trump Organisation had visited the city, in a statement posted on the city government's website last month.

The statement said the visit was too brief for both sides to get into details.

Although the Trump Organisation has denied it has any projects planned in Taiwan, an official told The Guardian the businesswoman said she was associated with the billionaire's corporation and "would like to propose a possible investment project in the future, especially hotels".

The official added: “One thing quite sure from her side was that she would like to bring the Trump corporation here to build the hotel."

Fears have been raised over potential conflicts of interest between Mr Trump's business and US foreign policy. Mr Trump has said he will keep his business and presidential interests separate by having his three children run his business interests once he is inaugurated.

The President-elect has been unapologetic about his decision to speak with Taiwan's leader, which was met by a swift protest from China.

The US severed ties with the self-governing island in 1979, but has maintained close unofficial relations and a commitment to support its defence.

The call was the starkest example yet of how Mr Trump has flouted diplomatic conventions since he won the 8 November election. He has apparently undertaken calls with foreign leaders without guidance typically given by the State Department, which oversees US diplomacy.

Over the decades, the status of Taiwan has been one of the most sensitive issues in US-China relations.

China regards Taiwan as part of its territory to be retaken by force, if necessary, if it seeks independence. It would regard any recognition of a Taiwanese leader as a head of state as unacceptable.

Additional reporting by AP

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