Saturday, December 03, 2016

Just what we need

But the Taipei Times reported the call was arranged by Trump’s “Taiwan-friendly campaign staff after his aides briefed him on issues regarding Taiwan and the situation in the Taiwan Strait.”

China has reached out to the White House about the call, according to CNN.

The White House said in a statement later Friday that it remained “firmly committed to our ‘one China’ policy,” which holds that Taiwan is part of China.

“Our fundamental interest is in peaceful and stable cross-Strait relations,” White House national security spokesman Ned Price said.

China’s foreign minister said in response to the call that China does “not want any interference or destruction” of the “one China” policy.

“I do not think it will change the one-China policy that the US government has insisted over the years. The one-China principle is the cornerstone of the healthy development of Sino-US relations,” Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in a statement.

When I noted we had survived Nixon, Reagan with dementia, and W., I failed to take account of just what a gang of schoolchildren we have now moving toward the highest office in the land, and in the world.

And his magic powers are already waning:

You'll notice he doesn't say he's going to do anything about it.



This is bad; this is very, very bad:

In the short run, Mr. Trump has rattled the entire region. Representatives of several Asian countries contacted the White House on Saturday to express concern, according to a senior administration official.

No, seriously:

“This is going to make real waves in Beijing,” said Bill Bishop, a veteran China watcher who runs the Sinocism newsletter from Washington DC. “I think we will see quite the reaction from Beijing … this will put relations from day one into a very difficult place.”

Evan Medeiros, the Asia director at the White House national security council, told the Financial Times: “The Chinese leadership will see this as a highly provocative action, of historic proportions.

“Regardless if it was deliberate or accidental, this phone call will fundamentally change China’s perceptions of Trump’s strategic intentions for the negative. With this kind of move, Trump is setting a foundation of enduring mistrust and strategic competition for US-China relations.”
And it's going to get worse:

Whether it says it or not, China will regard this as a deeply destabilizing event not because the call materially changes U.S. support for Taiwan—it does not—but because it reveals the incoming Presidency to be volatile and unpredictable. In that sense, the Taiwan call is the latest indicator that Trump the President will be largely indistinguishable from Trump the candidate.

Trump has also shown himself to be highly exploitable on subjects that he does not grasp. He is surrounding himself with ideologically committed advisers who will seek to use those opportunities when they can. We should expect similar moments of exploitation to come on issues that Trump will regard as esoteric, such as the Middle East, health care, immigration, and entitlements.YOU But he sent out a tweet!  What more do these people want?

In the longer term, officials in the Obama administration worry that the episode could not just ignite tensions across the Taiwan Strait but also inflame trade relations and embolden China in the South China Sea, where it has clashed with the Philippines, Vietnam and other neighbors over competing claims to reefs and shoals.

Shit, this is bad.  And the people in Trump Tower don't even understand that:

Whether Mr. Trump views the call as the beginning of a change in approach toward Taiwan is not clear. A person close to him insisted that he was just being polite in taking Ms. Tsai’s call.
God help us all.  Seriously.


  1. This story sent me into a full-fledged anxiety attack last night. They are purposely upending the world order for their own perceived benefit based on odious, archaic ideologies. This course of action does not lead to any good outcome for anyone who isn't a millionaire and/or a neo nazi

  2. I wish the majority of Americans were informed enough about the world to understand why this is playing with nuclear fire.

    We are in real trouble.

  3. @TheThoughtCriminal: oh yes we are. A plurality of commenters to the WaPo article on this we're pleased as punch that "finally" we have someone "strong" in the White House who won't "take it up the butt" from China. They unironically complain about how China has "flooded" our market with cheap crap while greedily sweeping said crap off the Walmart shelves into their waiting carts.

    We are being led by the denizens of a shame/honor culture to our potential demise. Every conceivable relationship is Hatfields and McCoys to them. Cooperation? Friendly relations? Peace? Bah, they're for the weak. And liberals.

    And they're only happy if they are sticking it to liberals and furriners. They are motivated by animus and "cruel indifference," as our host has pointed out elsewhere.

  4. And to think we got out of the Reagan Era without a nuclear war...

  5. More bad:

    Reminiscent of this historical bad: