Trump Talks With Taiwan: A New Precedent For Relations With China?

Donald Trump just spoke with the President of Taiwan, and the American media is freaking out. Back in the Cold War days, the US basically agreed not to formally recognize Taiwan as a sovereign and separate nation from China. The phone call Trump made to Taiwan’s President takes a metaphorical dump on this agreement, as it kind of acknowledges their existence as an independent nation. Some are calling this open communication reckless and strange when in reality this move by Trump can be summed up in one word: Genius.

In 1949, Chinese Communist Leader Mao Zedong created the People’s Republic of China (PRC), sparking the Chinese Civil War on the mainland. The Nationalists fought the communists for control of the nation’s government, with support from the United States. The last thing the US wanted to see during the Cold War was another nation ruled by a communist dictator. Ultimately, the Nationalist Party lost the fight and fled to Taiwan, a Chinese island controlled by their administration. The Nationalists claimed to be the true Chinese government, discrediting Communist China and the mainland in the process. In the fight against communism, the US supported Taiwan in the United Nations and supplied the state with weaponry. Taiwan held the seat for all of China in the UN until 1971, when things began to change. To this day, Taiwan’s formal name is the Republic of China. The Chinese mainland is known as the People’s Republic of China.

Beijing (PRC) began holding the UN seat to represent China in 1971. Realizing that a positive relationship with mainland China could be beneficial for the US, President Nixon began traveling to the mainland regularly. By 1979, America changed sides and formally recognized the PRC in Beijing as the one legitimate Chinese government. From this birthed the One China policy – China is run by the PRC Communist party out of Beijing, and no other government holds a rightful claim. The US has unofficially supported Taiwan since, by keeping a close relationship with the island without recognizing their sovereignty at the same time. Naturally, anything that America would do to undermine the position taken in the 1970’s would piss China off, and that’s where the phone call comes into play.

Last week Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen called Donald Trump, and I’m sure the two shared a lovely conversation. This call was carefully planned, according to insiders working with the Trump administration. It wasn’t an impromptu call - there’s no doubt that President-elect Trump knew of the One China policy and the potential implications of openly speaking to the Taiwan President. By accepting one phone call, Trump made a huge statement to China and the world: America is going to run a little differently this time around.

The United States has been placating and kissing China’s ass under President Obama’s administration, but it looks like this is about to change with Trump at the helm. On Monday, a White House Spokesperson for President Obama issued a statement, saying that National Security Council officials spoke with Chinese officials to reassure them of America’s commitment to the “One China” policy. Spokesman Josh Earnest said, The policy has been in place for 40 years and is focused on promoting and preserving peace and stability in the strait separating China and Taiwan, which is in U.S. interests.” Earnest continued by warning how sensitive current relations are with China.

"The Chinese government in Beijing placed an enormous priority on this situation, and it’s a sensitive matter. Some of the progress that we have made in our relationship with China could be undermined by this issue flaring up.”

"If the president-elect's team has a different aim, I'll leave it to them to describe."

While the current White House administration attempts to give China a stress-easing back massage, the incoming Trump cabinet is telling them to pound sand. Conservative candidate for Secretary of State John Bolton put it bluntly:

“The president of the United States [will] talk to whomever he wants if he thinks it’s in the interest of the United States, and nobody in Beijing gets to dictate who we talk to.”

Trump backed Bolton’s remarks by tweeting “Did China ask us if it was OK to devalue their currency (making it hard for our companies to compete), heavily tax our products going into their country (the U.S. doesn’t tax them) or to build a massive military complex in the middle of the South China Sea? I don’t think so!” Go get ‘em tiger. The Global Times, China’s state-controlled publication, made some comments in response to Trump’s tweet:

“Trump’s China-bashing tweet is just a cover for his real intent, which is to treat China as a fat lamb and cut a piece of meat off it.”

That’s right. The US is the farmer, and America has been fattening you up for ages. Maybe it’s time to stop biting the hand that has fed you for all of these years before we have you butchered. Warn the US all you want – you’re not the only nation capable of assembling cheap phones and printing t-shirts.

The United States is arguably one of the most powerful countries in the history of human civilization. America certainly doesn’t need China’s permission to speak to another world leader. “One China” be damned: Our Commander in Chief will speak to whomever he wishes. Most of the mainstream media are calling Trump’s stance immature, and a novice move in world diplomacy. Perhaps these journalists and reporters need to realize that not every American feels the need to suck up to China - the action taken by Donald Trump in defiance of this is precisely what he campaigned on.

He was elected by the people because he wasn’t afraid. With an American backbone, he said that he would stand up to the socialist superpower and renegotiate our trade deal. He said that he would kill the TPP, and not cower to the Chinese government. In this sense, Trump is doing exactly what he said he was going to do. Love it or hate it, the US isn’t going to bow down to China anymore.

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