He’s still a month away from taking office, but President-elect Donald Trump is making waves. Whether it’s good or bad remains to be seen.
China said it has serious concerns about Trump’s most recent comments about Taiwan, and warned that any changes to how America deals with the self-governing island could damage diplomatic ties between Washington and Beijing.
China’s comments came a day after Trump said in a television interview that he didn’t feel “bound by a one-China policy.”
Geng Shuang, a spokesman for China’s foreign ministry, said, “We urge the new U.S. leader and government to fully understand the seriousness of the Taiwan issue, and to continue to stick to the one-China policy.” Geng said any damage to this “political foundation” could render cooperation “out of the question.” Geng’s comments are the strongest public condemnation China has made of Trump’s criticisms of current American policy toward Taiwan.
China has long been sensitive to any diplomatic recognition of Taiwan, which it regards as a rogue province. China split from Taiwan amid civil war in 1949.
Beijing was already angered by Trump’s Dec. 2 phone call with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, the first time an American president or president-elect has publicly spoken to a Taiwanese leader in nearly four decades.
That same day, Trump had a seven-minute phone chat with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte — who said that Trump endorsed his campaign against drug users and dealers — a campaign that has left at least 4,500 Filipinos dead in about five months. Trump told Duterte that he was doing it the ‘right way.’
You’ll recall that Duterte called President Obama a “son of a b****” and told him to “go to hell.” His anger was unleashed following Obama’s remarks about possible human rights abuses in Duterte’s war on drugs.
As the soon-to-be new guy in charge, Trump appears to be ingratiating himself to leaders who’ve had an acrimonious relationship with Obama. He appears to be moving away from standard U.S. foreign policy protocol in an attempt to set himself from Obama.
Most recently, Trump appointed ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson — a man with considerable ties to Russia through years of deal-making — to lead the State Department. Russian President Vladmir Putin, told journalists on Dec. 14, that he was ready to work with the Trump as soon as he has formed his administration. “We are ready to work together, and much closer than before, on the problem of fighting terrorism, international terrorism, and here we certainly have vast opportunities. If we had joined efforts some time ago, we could have avoided many problems the world is facing now, I believe.” Putin then proceeded to bash President Obama, citing “fundamental issues” with the idea of “American exceptionalism.”
Iowa Governor Terry Branstad has agreed to serve as the U.S. ambassador to China. Branstad is apparently old friends with China’s leader, Xi Jinping, and picking him sends the message that Trump wishes to extend an olive branch.