Monday, December 5, 2016

UPSETTING THE DRAGON. And here I thought it was China's aggressive actions in the South China Sea that were causing friction between China and the U.S.

In a Friday meeting with Henry Kissinger in Beijing before Mr Trump spoke to Ms Tsai, China’s President Xi Jinping said that Sino-US relations stood at a critical juncture.

“We are watching the situation very closely,” he told Mr Kissinger, who masterminded the Sino-US detente as President Richard Nixon’s secretary of state. “Now is a period of transition.”

Shi Yinhong, an international relations professor at Renmin University in Beijing, said Mr Trump was sending a “very clear” message. “The US president-elect hates China and will encourage Tsai to resist pressure from the mainland,” he said.

Evan Medeiros, a former Asia director at the White House national security council who now heads Asia research at Eurasia Group, said “the Chinese leadership will see this as a highly provocative action, of historic proportions”. 

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Mr Trump suggested it was hypocritical for Washington to provide Taipei with weapons but prevent the US and Taiwanese leaders from communicating. The US is legally obliged to help Taiwan defend itself in the event of war with China, but the avoidance of communication between the leaders is due to the One China policy.

“Interesting how the US sells Taiwan billions of dollars of military equipment but I should not accept a congratulatory call,” Mr Trump tweeted. 

If all it took was a phone call, I guess the relationship was pretty rocky to begin with.

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