In an early diplomatic faux-pas President elect Donald Trump has managed to attract the ire of China, the worlds fastest growing country sees Taiwan as still being part of China and not a separate entity. America cut all relations with the country in 1979, and Trumps contact with them has urged them to complain to the current administration.
Trump has been a global charm offensive since winning the Presidential election in November. But this has been seen as something of a mistake. It has been reported that Tsai Ing-Wen President of Taiwan had called Mr Trump to congratulate him on his victory, in the conversation Trump also congratulated the President on his victory last January.
But considering the implications, it’s unlikely that Trump wasn’t at least warned about speaking to the President of Taiwan. Beijing have requested that the US administration be careful in handling diplomacy in the region, which is hotly contested by China. Indeed a spokesman for Trump stated that he was aware of the current policy towards Taiwan.
Mr Trump had tweeted about the conversation, and also that he believed that it would have been wrong to not take the call considering the level of business that’s done between the two countries. It’s far from the first time that the President elects twitter use and got him in hot water, indeed throughout the election campaign his repeated controversial tweets caused no end of issues for him. Though in the long run it seems to have not made any major impact on him.
The white house have been quick to state that Trumps conversation doesn’t signal any change in US policy in the region. This policy began in 1979, as recognition of China’s “one nation” policy.
The region is a tinder box for worldwide diplomacy, due to the history of the Republic of China government that fled to Taiwan. Taiwan represented China’s power base for some years, but eventually Beijing regained power and claimed that Taiwan was merely a province of the country. As a general rule Taiwan isn’t regarded internationally as a separate country, this is due to not wanting to upset Beijing.
Beijing have taken a hard line with Taiwan, often threatening force to prevent independence bids if required. Even to the point that they actually have a battery of missiles pointed at the country. Taiwans current ruling party, the DPP is pro independence from Beijing, and it doesn’t accept China’s rule in the country.
Joseph is a 34 year old freelance writer from London. He has a wide interest in politics and specialises in the subject. He's also a blog writer in his spare time.