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Taiwan

On Sunday, President-elect Donald Trump told Fox News that he wouldn't feel "bound by a 'One China' policy unless we make a deal with China having to do with other things, including trade."

The One China policy has guided U.S.-China discourse since 1979, when Washington established diplomatic relations with Beijing and downgraded its embassy in Taiwan.

The revelation of a phone call between President-elect Donald Trump and Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen last Friday startled leaders and diplomats in Washington, Beijing and beyond. In her first comments on the call, Tsai sought to dampen those fears.

"Of course I have to stress that one phone call does not mean a policy shift," Tsai said on Tuesday in a small meeting with American journalists in Taipei. "The phone call was a way for us to express our respect for the U.S. election as well as congratulate President-elect Trump on his win."

In the past two days, Typhoon Megi has pounded Taiwan and the coast of southeast China and forced tens of thousands of people to evacuate amid rising floodwaters.

At least four people died in Taiwan, as the storm blasted across the island en route to China, NPR's Anthony Kuhn tells our Newscast unit. In mainland China, at least one person was killed when several buildings collapsed in Quanzhou, in Fujian province.

Plastic water bottles, brown medicine vials, and foam coffee cups wash up on the beaches of Taiwan's Kinmen Island. This is the daily tide of garbage from the world's most populous nation, just 1 mile across the channel.

But it wasn't always garbage that came floating across from mainland China. Communist troops from China's Red Army stormed this beach in 1949. Thousands of Chinese soldiers who tried to take this island from Taiwan were massacred.

A tour bus carrying visitors from China burst into flames Tuesday on a highway near the Taiwanese capital, killing all 26 people onboard, according to local news reports.

Twenty-three tourists and one Chinese guide died in the accident west of Taipei, which officials cited by Taiwan's Central News Agency said is the country's deadliest incident involving tourists from mainland China.

A Taiwanese driver and guide also reportedly were among the dead.

Taiwan is bracing for Super Typhoon Nepartak, expected to make landfall early Friday.

The typhoon bearing down on the island has winds of more than 165 mph, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, and is classified as a Category 5 storm.

A fishing boat captain is dead and China is asking for a "responsible explanation," after an anti-ship missile was launched toward China from a Taiwanese Navy vessel Friday. Navy officials are apologizing for what they call an accident – a mistake made during a simulation drill.

The incident occurred Friday morning, when a 500-ton corvette that was sitting in the Zuoying Military Harbor launched a supersonic missile that streaked nearly 40 nautical miles before hitting a Taiwanese boat that had been trawling for shrimp.

On a busy Taipei street corner, students in tribal tunics, bare feet and temporary facial tattoos are taking part in an impromptu ceremony.

The students, aboriginals at National Taiwan University, line up and shout out their names and the names of their tribes. Recounting their hardships, some of them weep.

For a long time, says a woman named Yayut, she concealed her identity as an aborigine. "When people heard I was an aborigine, they said, 'You don't look like one,'" she says, sobbing.

Yayut's classmates cry and cheer her on.

Taiwan inaugurated its first female president Friday — who is also, as The Associated Press notes, "the first woman elected as head of state in Asia not related to a prominent male politician."

As we reported after Taiwan's elections in January, Tsai Ing-wen faces a delicate balancing act.

The self-governing island of Taiwan functions like an independent country, but China regards it as a rogue province.

Editor's Note: This story was originally published on April 13 and has been updated to include the latest developments.

China and six other countries have competing and overlapping claims to islands, fishing rights and other resources in the South China Sea. The United States is also deeply involved. It has long been the leading naval power in Asia and has alliances with several countries at odds with China.

"We have seen evidence of surface-to-air missile deployments to Woody Island," a U.S. defense official says, in the first official public comments about China placing a weapons system on a disputed island in the South China Sea.

From Shanghai, NPR's Frank Langfitt reports:

"The missiles appear to be Chinese HQ-9s with a range of more than 100 miles, which would pose a potential threat to aircraft in the area. Woody Island is also claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan.

Talking to some Hong Kong residents, you might think their territory was under siege. Their press is censoring itself. Its judiciary is required to be "patriotic." Even their mother tongue, Cantonese, is under assault, some believe, from Mandarin speakers to the north.

Now add academic freedom to that list, as pro-democracy and pro-Beijing camps have rushed to take sides in an ongoing battle over leadership of the territory's oldest institution of higher learning, the University of Hong Kong.

The company that built a 17-story apartment building that collapsed during Saturday's earthquake in Taiwan no longer exists, but three of its former executives have been arrested as prosecutors look into allegations of shoddy building practices.

Taiwanese President-elect Tsai Ing-wen is promising extensive safety checks of old buildings two days after an earthquake killed at least 38 people, according to local media. New questions emerged after stacks of cans were found in the walls of a 17-story building that was the scene of all but two of those deaths.

Rescue efforts continue in southern Taiwan, three days after a powerful magnitude-6.4 earthquake shook the island and killed more than three dozen people. But hopes of finding survivors were fading. Early Monday, more than 100 people were still unaccounted for from the Golden Dragon apartment complex, the center of most rescue efforts.

This weekend, there were countless stories of death — and life.

More than 24 hours after a deadly magnitude-6.4 earthquake struck Taiwan, rescuers are still pulling survivors out of the rubble.

The earthquake hit at roughly 4 a.m. local time on Saturday (Friday afternoon in U.S. time zones), just two days before the Lunar New Year celebrations. The city of Tainan was the hardest hit — and a single building, a 17-story apartment building that toppled like a folding accordion, caused most of the casualties.

At least 26 people are confirmed dead from the quake, 24 of them from the building collapse, The Associated Press reports.

A historic meeting is happening this Saturday in Singapore between the two Chinas — that is, the leaders of China and Taiwan. They're meeting for the first time since 1949, when one side lost the Chinese civil war and fled to Taiwan.

On the streets of Taiwan's capital, Taipei, everyone speaks Chinese. And everyone looks Chinese — as 98 percent of the population is ethnically Chinese. But the experiences of those in Taiwan haven't been the same as China's for decades.