Trump's phone conversation with Taiwan leader sparks China outrage
By Charleston Lim
The seemingly innocent telephone conversation between president-elect Donald J. Trump and Taiwan president Tsai Ing-wen has now caused an apparent outrage in China. The call itself apparently breaks the long standing, but dormant, political fault line between the concerning countries. China is reportedly displeased with the soon-to-be president's actions as it goes against the four-decade long separation and Beijing's strong "One China" policy.
One of the biggest and most sensitive issue between the United States and China has been towards the country's role in Taiwan. The United States previously supported Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalist government after it fled to Taiwan when Mao Zedong forced them out of China in 1949. The U.S. was also a World War 2 ally of Chiang Kai-shek's government. After the war, a diplomatic agreement was set which ultimately broke the United States' ties with Taiwan, with the exception of a law that allows the U.S. to supply Taiwan with weapons for defense.
China lodged several complaints with the U.S. shortly after the call was made public by the president-elect himself. The country's Foreign Ministry spokesman, Lu Kang, also claimed that the call may have been planned all along as opposed to it being a spur-of-the-moment conversation. The director of the China National Association of International Studies, Victor Gao, also expressed his shock at the incident and mentioned that the call itself was a violation of all the precedents, commitments, and understandings that have been established between the United States and China.
The President of Taiwan CALLED ME today to wish me congratulations on winning the Presidency. Thank you!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 3, 2016
The conversation was taken by some as an act with a clear motive to undermine China's claim over Taiwan as part of its territory. Reports have claimed that the call was a risky move as it shakes the very unstable relations between both countries and actually risks the peace and stability, not only in Asia, but in the global stage as well. Trump on the other hand has expressed no signs of regret for his act, and even asks why it was wrong to accept a congratulatory call from Taiwan's leader.