China has lodged a diplomatic protest after US President-elect Donald Trump spoke by phone with President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan, but blamed the self-ruled island Beijing claims as its own for the “petty” move.
The 10-minute telephone call with Taiwan’s leadership was the first by a US president-elect or president since President Jimmy Carter switched diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China in 1979, acknowledging Taiwan as part of “one China”.
China’s Foreign Ministry said it had lodged “stern representations” with what it called the “relevant US side”, urging the careful handling of the Taiwan issue to avoid any unnecessary disturbances in ties.
I guess an upside of a Trump presidency is that when he does something counter to 40 years of foreign policy, no one will know if it was deliberate or just reflects the fact he never reads briefing material and just makes things up on the spot.
On this issue, I’m glad he did take the call from the President of Taiwan. It is wrong to let China dictate who you can or can not talk to.
Speaking earlier, hours after Friday’s telephone call, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi pointedly blamed Taiwan for the exchange, rather than Trump, a billionaire businessman with little foreign policy experience.
“This is just the Taiwan side engaging in a petty action, and cannot change the ‘one China’ structure already formed by the international community,” Wang said at an academic forum in Beijing, state media reported.
“I believe that it won’t change the longstanding ‘one China’ policy of the United States government.”
A very mild protest. If it had been anyone else China would have probably retaliated in some way. But Trump is so mercurial, they probably don’t want to risk it blowing up.
In comments at the same forum, Wang noted how quickly President Xi Jinping and Trump had spoken by telephone after Trump’s victory, and that Trump had praised China as a great country.
He says that to every leader who rings him!