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Monday, December 5, 2016

Has Donald Trump made a major diplomatic faux pas?


China Pres, Xi Jinping
Donald Trump exclaimed with glee that he was putting all his business interests aside because it was more important that he run the government. And then he "innocently" accepts a phone call from the President of Taiwan, breaking a protocol dating back to 1979 when mainland china was recognized as China's government. But hold on, what about that new hotel in Taiwan that had been in the works weeks before the mysterious phone call.

Lawrence O'Donnell, on MSNBC, in covering the Taiwan call, also mentioned the fact that Trump was in contact with Rodrigo Duterte, Pres. of the Philippines, noting that he had called Barack Obama a "Son of a whore" again. O'Donnell continued that Duterte was the "craziest and possibly most dangerous elected politician in the world...as of now." The emphasis is my own but put there to question whether it might be predicting a future Donald Trump.

In consideration of the breach of protocol alone, Trump or his incompetent minions may not think it is important that they have in effect held Beijing in disrespect, but you can bet China's President, Xi Jinping, is watching every move Donald Trump makes and will take appropriate steps. Jinping was educated in the U.S. and is well aware of our customs here but the President-elects Taiwan move caught the country off guard:
"Breaking decades of American diplomatic practice, he caught the Chinese government off guard by lunging into the most sensitive of its so-called core interests, the 'One China' policy agreed to by President Richard M. Nixon more than four decades ago."
So much for diplomacy with a nation that we need to keep on the good side of not only for trade, but in the interest of a more stable world. But the real story here is the fact that political pundits question whether a major reason he took that call from Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, was to firm up their relationship in order to obtain more favorable arrangements for building a hotel in the country. That would of course be a major conflict of interest which is my next post today.

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