Why Trump Was Right to Talk with Taiwan's President
By Stephen Yates, Christian Whiton | FoxNews.com
China and the Washington foreign policy establishment thought they could tell President-elect Donald Trump whom he can and cannot speak with on the phone. They thought wrong.
On Friday, Trump received a congratulatory call from Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, in which the leaders briefly touched upon economic, political, and security-related ties between our two democracies. Trump congratulated Tsai on her own victory in Taiwanese elections earlier in the year—a watershed since Tsai is the first woman leader in Asia who isn’t the daughter or wife of a previous leader.
Tsai’s victory also marked the third shift in power from one party to another in Taiwan—a symbol of a matured Taiwanese democracy and further proof that democracy can work for ethnically Chinese people wherever they reside.
None of this is welcome in Beijing, whose deeply corrupt and authoritarian government is used to getting its way from the United States, especially on Taiwan. Beijing is mad not only that Trump took a call from Tsai—even though he previously spoke with Chinese leader Xi Jinping—but that the statement announcing the call referred to Tsai accurately as the “president of Taiwan”—a reality that is obvious to average Americans, Taiwanese, and Chinese, but something diplomats like to pretend isn’t so.
The foreign policy establishment and their media buddies were even more apoplectic than Beijing. The leftwing UK Guardian huffed that Trump had upended “37 years of U.S. diplomatic practice in a few minutes,” said the call was a gaffe or provocation (must it be either?), and hinted without evidence that Trump was trying to advance his personal financial interests. The New York Times claimed that the simple call was a bigger “provocation” of Beijing than selling billions in weapons to Taiwan, which the United States has routinely done even after breaking formal diplomatic ties in 1979 to please Beijing.