Next month Taiwan’s president will be landing on US soil to meet members of US Congress despite objections by China.

China has tried to block the visit of President Tsai Ing-wen in the wake of a row over perceived pro-Taiwan comments by the US president-elect, Donald Trump, who also held an unprecedented phone conversation with the Taiwan leader. 

The visit has caused speculation in Washington and Taiwan that Tsai may meet Trump in person, or members of his transition team, during a nine-day trip that begins on 7 January and includes brief state visits to Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador.

Speaking to the Taiwan legislature’s foreign and national defence committee, Javier Hou, deputy foreign minister, said Tsai’s planned stopover in the US would be made in accordance with past practice.