What makes the over-the-top reaction by the media to Donald Trump’s acceptance of a call of congratulations from Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen so silly is that the protest by the Chinese government to the communication was actually quite mild by comparison.
A former Bush spokesman said the Chinese “would go nuts” over the call. For the record, they didn’t. TPM characterized the call as “dangerous.” Vox accused Trump of “throwing decades of U.S.-China policy in disarray.”
But this Reuters report shows that not only did the Chinese lodge a simple, formal diplomatic protest, but they also blamed Taiwan and not Trump for the call.
China’s Foreign Ministry said it had lodged “stern representations” with what it called the “relevant U.S. side”, urging the careful handling of the Taiwan issue to avoid any unnecessary disturbances in ties.
“The one China principle is the political basis of the China-U.S. relationship,” it said.
The wording implied the protest had gone to the Trump camp, but the ministry provided no explanation.
Speaking earlier, hours after Friday’s telephone call, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi pointedly blamed Taiwan for the exchange, rather than Trump, a billionaire businessman with little foreign policy experience.
“This is just the Taiwan side engaging in a petty action, and cannot change the ‘one China’ structure already formed by the international community,” Wang said at an academic forum in Beijing, China’s Foreign Ministry quoted him as saying.
“I believe that it won’t change the longstanding ‘one China’ policy of the United States government.”
In comments at the same forum, Wang noted how quickly President Xi Jinping and Trump had spoken by telephone after Trump’s victory, and that Trump had praised China as a great country.
Wang said that exchange had sent “a very positive signal about the future development of Sino-U.S. relations”, according to the ministry’s website. Taiwan was not mentioned in that call, according to an official Chinese transcript.
China’s Taiwan Affairs Office also called the conversation a “petty” move by Taiwan that does not change the island’s status as part of China. Beijing is resolute in opposing independence for Taiwan, it added.
Trump said on Twitter that Tsai had initiated the call he had with the Taiwan president. “The President of Taiwan CALLED ME today to wish me congratulations on winning the Presidency. Thank you!” he said.
Trump has made numerous calls to world leaders since the election and some leaders have called him. These innocuous calls are not going to blow up the world or overturn “decades of U.S. diplomacy.” The striped-pants crowd at the State Department are “aghast” that Trump would dabble in a little harmless diplomacy without their wisdom and guidance. The left-wing media feels the same way.
The Chinese response actually make them all look like idiots:
Chinese state media downplayed the possibility of a major blow-up in Beijing’s relations with Washington as Trump prepares to assume office.
Influential state-run tabloid the Global Times said in an online editorial that if Trump really overturned the “one China” principle upon assuming office it would create such a crisis with China he’d have little time to do anything else.
“We believe this is not something the shrewd Trump wants to do.”
China’s official Xinhua news agency said Trump needed to know Beijing can be a “cooperative partner” as long as Washington respects China’s core interests, including the issue of Taiwan.
Absolutely nothing was altered, or was promised to be altered, by this call. China will still maintain that Taiwan is a “wayward province” and insist on Washington following a one-China policy. Taiwan won’t make any sudden moves for independence, given the discrepancy in military power between the mainland and the island nation. And the U.S. will not go to war to defend Taiwan, but will continue selling them high-tech weapons to defend themselves.
China knows this. Taiwan knows this. Trump knows this.
Only the media seems to be clueless about this reality.