Thursday, 8 December 2016

Trump’s administration won’t benefit from hawkish stance on China

President-elect Donald Trump’s phone call with the president of Taiwan was initially reported as a protocol-shattering blunder initiated by the Taiwanese government rather than Trump himself, a move that provoked Beijing's ire.

American presidents, long sensitive to the China-Taiwan impasse, have not directly communicated with Taiwan’s leadership since 1979 when the Nixon-era shift in policy established formal direct ties between Washington and Beijing.

Though many were skeptical of the administration’s explanation of the exchange as a routine congratulatory call, it has since been established that the conversation had been quietly planned months in advance by Trump’s advisors.

Former Senator Bob Dole also played a key role coordinating between Taiwanese officials and the Trump campaign, reportedly lobbying as a foreign agent for the government of Taiwan behind the scenes. This was a calculated signal that the incoming administration, which has associated itself with several prominent Taiwan proponents, is planning to break with the past in pursuit of a tougher recalibration of relations with China.

Read the full story on RT

Nile Bowie is a Singapore-based political commentator and columnist for the Malaysian Reserve newspaper. He can be reached at nilebowie@gmail.com.