This photo by Taiwan agency CNA Photo taken on Dec. 6, 2016 shows former senior US official Stephen Yates arriving in Taipei. AFP PHOTO / CNA PHOTO
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A former senior U.S. official with links to Donald Trump's transition team flew to Taipei Tuesday, sparking more speculation over relations with Taiwan after the president-elect's unprecedented call with the island's leader.Tsai's call to Trump Friday was the first between a Taiwanese leader and an incoming or serving U.S. president since Washington switched recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979 .Media have also described Yates, who speaks fluent Mandarin, as a key adviser on Taiwan relations for Trump's camp.Even though Washington has long shied away from formal communications with Taipei, the U.S. remains Taiwan's key ally and leading arms supplier.
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