News & Politics

Who Needs a 'One-China' Policy, Anyway?

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci, Chinag Ying-ying, File)

As anyone who’s ever done business with mainland China knows, a fool and his money (or time, or expertise) are soon parted. Contracts aren’t honored, owed monies aren’t paid, a man’s word is not his bond and a contract isn’t worth the pixels it’s printed on. So good for Donald Trump for putting the Red Chinese in their place, and openly flirting with our allies, the Taiwanese, by re-opening the door to a two-China policy:

US president-elect Donald Trump has questioned whether Washington should continue its one-China policy if Beijing does not make concessions on trade and other issues.

“I don’t know why we have to be bound by a one-China policy unless we make a deal with China having to do with other things, including trade,” Trump told Fox News Sunday in response to a question on his taking a phone call from Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, a move which broke with decades of US diplomatic tradition. The one-China policy recognises that Taiwan is part of China, but the US has remained ambiguous on the issue.

Besides trade, Trump said China was not cooperating with the US on its handling of the yuan, on North Korea, and tensions in the South China Sea.

Even a cursory look at Chinese and Taiwanese history since the end of World War II shows how immoral and short-sighted the bullying “one-China” policy has been. It’s all founded in the communists’ inferiority-complex insistence to be recognized as the legitimate government of China, and therefore of the island of Taiwan, when the Republic of China government fled after its defeat by Mao in 1949.

Regarding Trump’s comment on the one-China policy, Renmin University international relations professor Pang Zhongying said the administration may play up the Taiwan issue, which could cause friction with Beijing. “It’s likely that Trump will use Taiwan to demand concessions from Beijing. The situation will be tricky,” he said.

Trump needs to stay firm with the mainland Chinese, whose behavior he made a prominent campaign issue. They won’t like it, and may well rattle a few sabers to test the new president, just as they did with George W. Bush early in his first term. This time, no more face-saving; let them learn the new rules of international comity or suffer the economic consequences.

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