— Eunice Yoon (@eyoonCNBC) December 12, 2016
Remember President-Asterisk Trump’s celebratory phone call from Taiwan? Well, the Peoples’ Republic sure does! While we were (understandably) distracted by the latest Russian revelations of Repub perfidity, here’s a report from NYMag:
… Preventing Taiwan from achieving internationally recognized independence is one of the top priorities of Chinese foreign policy — one that its military is prepared to go to war over.
Following Trump’s call, China decided to clarify that last point, by flying a nuclear-capable bomber over its disputed islands in the South China Sea — while also preparing to ship new surface-to-air missiles to those islands, according to U.S. officials who spoke with Fox News.
Trump was not impressed by this display of force. In an interview with Fox News Sunday, the president-elect suggested that he felt no compulsion to honor the “One China” policy — unless China accedes to his demands on trade.
“I fully understand the ‘One China’ policy,” Trump assured Fox. “But I don’t know why we have to be bound by a ‘One China’ policy unless we make a deal with China having to do with other things, including trade.”
On Monday, China announced that future acts of cooperation would be jeopardized, should Trump continue down his current path.
“China expresses serious concern on this subject,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters, including representatives of NBC News. “If the [One China policy] is compromised or interfered with, any sound and steady development in China-U.S. relations and cooperation in various fields is out of the question.”…
Trump spent much of his campaign rattling a saber in Beijing’s direction. “We can’t continue to allow China to rape our country,” he told his supporters in May. “That’s what they’re doing. It’s the greatest theft in the history of the world.”… China generally makes the same assumption about this bellicosity that many liberals made about Donald Trump’s political career — after Election Day, it will all be over.
But now Trump is president-elect. And China is shipping missiles to the disputed islands that many see as the (potential) cradle of the next world war…
Note from a Foreign Policy reporter:
… I have lived in China for 13 years, and in that time I have talked with perhaps three mainlanders who thought that Taiwan had the right to determine its own future. Everyone else with whom I’ve discussed the issue, from ardent liberals to hardcore Marxists to the politically apathetic, has been fervently against the idea that Taiwan could ever be considered a country. It’s an idea as weird, taboo, and offensive to the majority of Chinese as proposing the restitution of slavery would be to Americans — not for its moral value but for going against everything they hold dear about their country.
Most of the time, when Beijing says something has “hurt the feelings of 1.3 billion Chinese,” it’s petulant bullshit; on Taiwanese issues it comes closer to the truth. On the WeChat Moments feed of a former student, a bright and intellectually curious teenager, I saw her rage at finding the Taiwanese flag on the wall of a dorm at her new American university. “IT’S NOT A COUNTRY!” she indignantly declared, her anger echoed by her (Chinese) schoolmates follow-up comments…
It’s an unhappy and bitter part of Chinese nationalism, one that denies both the six-decade reality on the ground and the agency of Taiwanese to decide their own future. But it’s not going to disappear overnight. If the Communist Party vanished into smoke tomorrow, Chinese would still be contemptuous of Taiwanese aspirations and furious with anyone who suggested otherwise.
On America’s part, the issue needs to be handled carefully, respectfully, and with a certain allegiance to diplomatic fictions. Anything else risks stirring not just Beijing’s ire but genuine public anger — a force that Beijing itself might sometimes manipulate but may also not be able to entirely control.
The NYTimes, ever helpful once it’s too late, explains “If Donald Trump Pushes on Taiwan, How China Could Push Back“.
Recaps from last week:
Trump claims he heard he was getting a call from Taiwan an hour or two before it happened: pic.twitter.com/IYFZezPEnD
— Sopan Deb (@SopanDeb) December 11, 2016
So, it was planned and discussed – by lobbyists – for six months.
But Trump heard about it an hour before.
Let that sink in. https://t.co/jLtqVvFK6b
— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) December 11, 2016
Bob Dole worked behind the scenes for over 6 months to establish contact between Taiwanese officials & Donald Trump https://t.co/I2WfF96Uwx
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) December 6, 2016
Let's just be clear: his firm was being paid by the Taiwanese government to do this. https://t.co/GhRsxOb4Qo
— Christopher Hayes (@chrislhayes) December 6, 2016
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..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 4, 2016
Did China ask if they could make your products and lend you money? https://t.co/0iqJ6d7iG9
— Dana Houle (@DanaHoule) December 5, 2016
Maybe Trump will push China enough that the Chinese banks to which he owes money will go public about it.
— Dana Houle (@DanaHoule) December 6, 2016