AFTER TRUMP’S TWEETS, CHINA REACTS CAUTIOUSLY ON HIS PHONE CONVERSATION WITH TAIWANESE PRESIDENT

The article originally appeared on India Today.
Here it is a bit modified and extended.

Yesterday, the US President Elect Donald Trump spoke to the Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, who is ideologically opposed to the Chinese Communist Party’s ‘One China’ vision. It was a first for any US President or President Elect to speak to the Taiwanese President since 1979 when the US had closed its embassy in Taipei and severed its diplomatic ties recognizing the Mainland China as the sole Chinese voice.

Since the call was made public by the Taiwanese media and the Trump transition team, there was a growing global debate over it as China is vehemently opposed to any move that challenges its territorial sovereignty and always registers strong protests, be it the US arms sales to Taiwan or call for democratic voices in Hong Kong or the Dalai Lama’s global outreach efforts for Tibet’s sovereignty.

Initial reports did not make it clear that who called whom – whether it was Donald Trump who has promised to fundamentally shake up the political administration of the US – or the Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen – until Donald Trump made it clear in a tweet that says, “the President of Taiwan CALLED ME today to wish me congratulations on winning the Presidency. Thank you!”

Donald J. Trump ✔ @realDonaldTrump
The President of Taiwan CALLED ME today to wish me congratulations on winning the Presidency. Thank you!
6:14 AM – 3 Dec 2016

Trump further clarified his act by saying that he didn’t see any wrong in accepting a congratulatory call from a country whom the US sells billions of dollars of military equipment.

Donald J. Trump ✔ @realDonaldTrump
Interesting how the U.S. sells Taiwan billions of dollars of military equipment but I should not accept a congratulatory call.
7:11 AM – 3 Dec 2016

It means Donald Trump may not have done it purposefully as was being widely speculated before his tweets and Trump speaking to the Taiwanese President may be a courtesy call only.

As expected, China’s initial reaction was a firm opposition, because international relations between the worlds’s biggest economic and military powers are always sensitive and here every act matters. People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party, tweeted quoting Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs that “China firmly opposes any official interaction or military contact between #US and #Taiwan.”

People’s Daily,China
‏@PDChina
China firmly opposes any official interaction or military contact between #US and #Taiwan: China MOFA, Fri
6:23 PM – 2 Dec 2016

But the latest reaction from Wang Yi, China’s Foreign Minister, indicates that China would like to treat the waters cautiously and would like to see the phone call by the Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, who is ideologically opposed to the Chinese Communist Party’s ‘One China’ vision, to Trump as a small trick giving Trump the benefit of doubt that he accepted the call out of courtesy.

People’s Daily,China
‏@PDChina
Taiwan’s small trick will not change one-China principle, the cornerstone of healthy #China-#US relations: Wang Yi responds to #Trump’s call
9:30 PM – 2 Dec 2016

On November 13, Chinese President Xi Jinping had called Donald Trump to congratulate on his victory pushing his point that ‘cooperation was the only correct’ way ahead for the countries. Responding to the call, a statement from the Trump transition team said that the leaders developed a ‘clear sense of mutual respect’ during the telephone conversation, “During the call, the leaders established a clear sense of mutual respect for one another, and President-elect Trump stated that he believes the two leaders will have one of the strongest relationships for both countries moving forward”.

Probably the muted Chinese response to an otherwise disturbing act from the Chinese point of view follows that ‘clear sense of mutual respect only’.

©SantoshChaubey

DONALD TRUMP DOES THE UNTHINKABLE, BREAKS FROM TRADITION, SPEAKS WITH TAIWANESE PRESIDENT

The article originally appeared on India Today.
Here it is a bit modified and extended.

According to the news reports rapidly flooding the global media, the US President-elect Donald Trump has spoken with the Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen over the telephone on Friday.

It is a departure of mammoth proportion from the established practice where it is believed that no US President or President-elect has ever spoken to a Taiwanese President ever since the US severed its diplomatic ties with the island nation in 1979.

China is bound to be furious over it as it considers Taiwan a part of its ‘One China’ vision and doesn’t take any move lightly that questions its right over the patches of territories it claims.

The world sees how China angrily reacts on Dalai Lama’s global outreach efforts for Tibet or when it issues stapled visa to Arunachal Pradesh residents in India as it considers Arunachal its own territory.

The Financial Times which first reported about the call wrote, “Although it is not clear if the Trump transition team intended the conversation to signal a broader change in US policy towards Taiwan, the call is likely to infuriate Beijing which regards the island as a renegade province.”

But in geopolitics, nothing is seen as by chance, as the Financial Times report further says, quoting Evan Medeiros, former Asia Director, White House National Security Council that ‘the Chinese leadership will see this as a highly provocative action, of historic proportions’.

According to a report in the New York Times, the White House was informed about the call only after it had happened. The report further says, quoting an Obama administration official that in past China had reacted bitterly on US arms sales to Taiwan.

Let us wait and see how China reacts this time.

©SantoshChaubey