Saturday, 3 December 2016
The Tsai-Trump Telephone Talk Tantrum
In light of just how clearly unsuited to the job of president Donald Trump is, it is perhaps not surprising to see a lot of people castigating Trump for offending China's Communist rulers by accepting a congratulatory phone-call from Tsai Ing-Wen, Taiwan's democratically-elected president, and seizing on this as further evidence of Trump's incompetence.
Let's be clear on this: Trump may be incompetent, but Taiwan is a US ally which the United States is committed to defend against Chinese aggression. As Trump himself pointed out, the US has supplied Taiwan with billions in military hardware. The idea that there's no contact between the two states is just silly, and the US president-elect speaking to the Taiwanese president is just a natural extension of that.
The purpose of diplomacy is not to please all people in the world all the time. It is certainly not to avoid ever offending the Chinese government.
Yes, Trump is careless. Yes, announcing this conversation to the world via Twitter is perhaps not wise. Yes, there is the suspicion that he did this without actually knowing the nature of US-Taiwan relations. Ultimately, though, he has not done anything wrong in talking to Tsai.
The only wrong here is the one that the Chinese government continues in committing year after year: diplomatically isolating the people of Taiwan and their democratically-elected representatives.
[Picture: Tsai Ing-Wen on the campaign trail circa 2009. Via Wiki]
Posted by Gilman Grundy at 05:58