US

Taiwan ex-premier heading delegation to Trump inauguration

FILE - In this Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2006, file photo, Democratic Progressive Party member Yu Shyi-kun, speaks to the media during a news conference at the National Press Club in Washington DC. Yu will be joined by lawmakers and local government officials representing both Taiwan's ruling and opposition parties at Donald Trump's inauguration Friday, highlighting the unusually high profile during the presidential transition process. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

FILE - In this Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2006, file photo, Democratic Progressive Party member Yu Shyi-kun, speaks to the media during a news conference at the National Press Club in Washington DC. Yu will be joined by lawmakers and local government officials representing both Taiwan's ruling and opposition parties at Donald Trump's inauguration Friday, highlighting the unusually high profile during the presidential transition process. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)  (The Associated Press)

A former Taiwan premier will represent the island at Donald Trump's inauguration Friday.

Yu Shyi-kun will be joined by lawmakers and local government officials representing both the ruling Democratic Progressive Party and the opposition Nationalists.

The U.S. has no formal relations with Taipei in deference to China, which claims the island as its own. However, the two maintain robust informal ties and Washington sells Taiwan arms and is legally bound to regard any threat to the island as a matter of grave concern.

Trump upset decades of diplomatic precedent by talking by phone with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen shortly after his victory in November's presidential election. Last week, he said in a newspaper interview that Washington's "one China policy" under which it recognized Beijing in 1979 was open to negotiation.