Former Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman Says Trump 'Absolutely Right' to Take Taiwan Call

PHOTO: Former Utah Governor and former U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman participates in a discussion at the Council on Foreign Relations, Jan. 29, 2015, in Washington.PlayAlex Wong/Getty Images
WATCH Former Ambassador to China Says Trump 'Right' to Take Taiwan Call

Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, newly on Donald Trump’s expanded list of contenders for secretary of state, praised the president-elect’s decision to take a call from Taiwan’s president, which broke with decades of U.S. policy.

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“The call came in from President Tsai Ing-wen. He made the choice to take it, which I think was absolutely right,” Huntsman told ABC News before making remarks at a conference hosted by the nonpartisan group No Labels, which he co-chairs.

Huntsman’s praise is especially significant because he served as the U.S. ambassador to China under President Barack Obama from 2009 to 2011.

The phone call was the first known contact between a U.S. president or president-elect and a Taiwanese counterpart since 1979. The U.S. has since adhered to the one-China policy, which recognizes Taiwan as a part of China.

Huntsman said he did not view this call as a shift in U.S.-China policy but said he was sure the Trump team did not orchestrate the call without knowing the implications.

“I think there’s a lot more to come, would be my guess, once the president-elect becomes president, but we’ll have to just wait and see. I’m sure he’s got a broader strategy,” Huntsman said.

Also, he confirmed that Trump is considering him as his possible top diplomat but said they haven’t had or scheduled any formal meetings yet.

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