Political Establishment Aghast Over Phone Call Trump Accepted

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President-elect Donald Trump accepted a congratulatory phone call from the president of Taiwan Friday, and the Obama administration is all in a panic.

A United States president hasn’t spoken to the leadership in Taiwan in over 30 years, having suspended all relations with Taiwan in 1979 when a “One China” position was taken in order to get on the good side of China.  The position maintains that Taiwan and China are “one”, and therefore, the U.S. only speaks with China, not Taiwan.

Business Insider noted that Beijing considers Taiwan as a province of China – but Taiwan has always had their own democratically elected government, which the U.S. isn’t supposed to recognize.

Trump’s transition team released a statement Friday, which said, “President-elect Trump spoke with President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan, who offered her congratulations.  During the discussion, they noted the close economic, political, and security ties” between Taiwan and the United States. President-elect Trump also congratulated President Tsai on becoming President of Taiwan earlier this year.”

An Obama administration official complained that they were not made aware of the call “until after it occurred,” and they’re afraid the phone call is going to “infuriate Beijing.”

All kinds of bad things are now about to happen – by accepting a simple phone call, they say Trump has likely caused damage of “historic proportions.”

“Trump has phone call w Taiwan President, 1st by US Pres or Pres-elect since 1979,” geopolitical expert Ian Bremmer, president of Eurasia Group, tweeted on Friday. “Beijing will be absolutely incensed.”

“Trump almost surely unaware of Taiwan-China sensitivities before taking President’s call,” Bremmer added. “They don’t yet have Asia expertise on team.”

Evan Medeiros, former Asia director at the White House national security council, told the Financial Times that “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,” he said. “With this kind of move, Trump is setting a foundation of enduring mistrust and strategic competition for US-China relations.”

The Business Insider reported that Hennry Kissinger, the former Secretary of State who set up President Nixon’s trip to Beijing in 1972, is currently visiting in Beijing.

Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post said when Kissinger hears of Trump’s phone call with the Taiwan president, it is likely to “give him a heart attack.”    He tweeted, “Years of careful diplomatic winks and nods up in smoke.”

Ambassador Christopher Hill accused Trump of just trying to “wing it” and said this is a huge mistake.

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