Will Donald Trump’s phone call to the Taiwanese President create diplomatic problems for the US?

Bigly.

The People’s Republic of China has not recognised the Taiwanese government since it was established in 1949. Most countries do not officially recognise the Taiwanese government either but managed to conduct trade and diplomatic relations under the radar as it were.

Taiwan became the Republic of China when the Kuomintang was driven out of mainland China in 1949 and invaded Taiwan. Since then, China’s government has insisted that it is part of China and should be reunited, forcibly if necessary

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Chinese general and statesman Chiang Kai-Shek (1887 – 1975)  the founder of modern Taiwan.

 Some commentary has indicated that this is a bold diplomatic move by Trump that heralds a new era in relations between the US, Taiwan and China. And also that it is part of the new carefully crafted strong line on Chinese/US relations.  It wasn’t just a diplomatic blunder it was part of a carefully thought out plan.

If it was, then the plan omitted to consider one important element in relationships with China: the Chinese don’t like losing face and embarrassing them in front of the international community and turning nearly 75 years of diplomatic policy on its head with one phone call has done exactly that.

The Chinese government will be deeply offended.

As I said, Bigly.

So far, the Chinese response has been muted and for very good reason. They are waiting for Trump’s inauguration and at that point, there will be some huge payback for Trump’s  heavy-handed behaviour.

Expect something on Inauguration Day or very shortly afterwards.

And is also highly likely that the Chinese will craft a response that is disproportionately strong, just to send a message.

Something like putting pressure on the Philippine government to close the US bases in the Philippines and replace them with Chinese bases.

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 US warships in Manila bay.

Or delaying the  five new military bases that are scheduled for 2016; Antonio Bautista Air Base, Basa Air Base, Fort Magsaysay, Lumbia Air Base, Mactan-Benito Ebuen Air Base.

 The Philippines is a central plank in the US defence  against Chinese expansion in the South China sea and disruption to the plans for the new military bases would be a major diplomatic coup for the Chinese government. Ample payback for a phone call to the Taiwanese President.

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You yewdie,  Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen must be happy about Trump’s phone call
Philippine President Rodrigo Détente is every bit as unpredictable as Donald Trump and given the unpopularity of the US military bases with the Filipino people, he might just start cosying up to the Chinese.
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Or perhaps taking advantage of Trump’s criticism of Boeing Corporation and their profit margins on Air Force One to start shifting away from American Boeing aircraft to European Air Buses.
 Just recently Mr Trump tweeted: “Boeing is building a brand new 747 Air Force One for future presidents, but costs are out of control, more than $4 billion. Cancel order!”
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 The Chinese may argue that if Boeings are too expensive for the US president, they are probably too expensive for the Chinese.

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