Following President-elect Donald Trump’s destructive call with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-Wen, the Chinese government has made sure its opinion is heard loud and clear.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry reported that it had lodged “stern representations” with the relevant US side. They have made clear the need to carefully handle Taiwan-US relations in order to avoid a disturbance to the US-China relationship. China also emphasized:
“The One China principle is the political basis of the China-US relationship.”
Under the “One China” policy, the US recognizes Beijing as representing China while retaining unofficial ties with Taiwan itself. Relations between Taiwan and China have worsened since Tsai Ing-Wen was elected president of Taiwan, as she heads the Democratic Progressive Party, which seeks independence from Beijing.
A Costly Call
Trump’s 10-minute phone call with Taiwan’s leadership was the first direct contact between a US president or president-elect since President Jimmy Carter changed US diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China in 1979.
Donald Trump also broke Chinese taboo by simply referring to Tsai by her title as “President,” as this indicates Taiwan is a sovereign nation rather than a Chinese territory.
Associate professor at the School of International Studies at Peking University, Wang Dong, said Saturday:
“This is a wake-up call for Beijing – we should buckle up for a pretty rocky six months or a year in the China-US relations.”
Picking Up The Pieces
Meanwhile, President Barack Obama’s administration has been attempting to provide damage control since news of the phone call broke Thursday. Ned Price, a national security spokesman for President Obama, said:
“We remain firmly committed to our ‘One China’ policy. Our fundamental interest is in peaceful and stable cross-Strait relations.”
So while our current, competent president is attempting to pick up the pieces from this debacle, hopefully Trump is brushing up on the history of China-U.S. relations so diplomatic crises like this don’t happen again.
Interesting how the U.S. sells Taiwan billions of dollars of military equipment but I should not accept a congratulatory call.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 3, 2016
Oh whoops, never mind. He seems to be doubling down on his stupidity instead. Shen Dingli, a professor of international relations at Fudan University in Shanghai, warned that if contact between Taiwan and U.S. continued, there could be some massive consequences:
“I would close our embassy in Washington and withdraw our diplomats … I would be perfectly happy to end the relationship. I don’t know how you are then going to expect China to cooperate on Iran and North Korea and climate change. You are going to ask Taiwan for that?”
Let’s hope Trump reels in his craziness just a bit so we don’t have a full blown international crisis on our hands. But at this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if he continues to go rogue.
Watch the video below to see why Trump’s phone call is very concerning: