Sunday, 4 December 2016

Trump's China Lesson

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen with two advisers on the call with Trump
Beijing surely when into fits of volcanic rage when US President-elect Donald Trump talked to Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on Friday evening Hong Kong time.

It later emerged that it was Taiwan that initiated the call that lasted 10 minutes in which included issues of economy and defense, according to Taiwan's Presidential Office.

"During the discussion, they noted the close economic, political and security ties between Taiwan and the United States," the office said in a statement on Saturday.

US President Jimmy Carter recognized the one-China policy
The conversation broke protocol that previous US presidents have followed of no direct contact with Taiwanese leaders since 1979, when then US President Jimmy Carter recognized the "one China" policy, shifting its support from Taiwan to mainland China, though it still has unofficial ties with the island.

Beijing's official response was cool -- it lodged an official representation to Washington on Saturday, urging it to uphold its commitment to the one-China policy.

However, Trump isn't yet president, so technically the phone call was not official. But it does seriously question the brash businessman's knowledge of the geopolitics in Asia, and if his advisers know they are provoking the dragon by pulling on its tail for no good reason as evidenced by his tweet:

Does Donald Trump understand the geopolitics in Asia?
"Interesting how the US sells Taiwan billions of dollars of military equipment but I should not accept a congratulatory call."

Sounds like a sly move on Taiwan's part to get Trump embroiled in a mess with China even before he becomes president.

How Trump handles China -- or the rest of the world for that matter -- will reveal what kind of president he is. Many within the US and around the world are terrified of what he will do after he is inaugurated domestically and globally.

It's so bizarre to see a reality TV show personality become the leader of the most powerful country in the world.

But does he understand this reality is not a TV show?

1 comment: