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Post Reply Trump and Taiwanese President Talk
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Posted 12/4/16 , edited 12/7/16
https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2016/12/trump-taiwan/509474/

For decades, the US presidents and president-elects have not spoken to the Taiwanese leader.

You guys are probably already aware of this, but what are your thoughts? This article does a pretty good job explaining what China, US, and Taiwan are exactly up to.

I'll sum it up, though.

China: Believes Taiwan is theirs and is hypersensitive toward any recognition of Taiwan as an independent state. Seeks to absorb Taiwan by force if necessary as well as some surrounding territories. Is major trading partner with US but also known for defying international law, ignoring human rights, environmental indifference, and its recently ramped-up attempts for land grabs in the SE Asia seas. Does not want a war with the US but is not happy. More aggressive than the US but not as powerful.

US: Major trading partner for China and Taiwan. Owes China money but does not support the Chinese government. Prefers the liberal and progressive government of Taiwan, which obeys international law and honors human rights, but says "One China" to appease China, while selling weapons to Taiwan in case China attacks it. Does not want a war with China because of potentially severe economic repercussions. Strongest nation in the world but does not want unnecessary conflict.

Taiwan: Has not been governed by China for over half a decade and has its own government, military, and currency. For all intents and purposes, an independent country other than in name only. Most Taiwanese are staunchly against unification and the previous president who ignored the people's voices in order to push a pro-unification agenda ended his term in office with an approval rating of below 10%. Stands against China but requires US weapons. Likes the US and is a major trading partner, US's 9th largest.


Maintain the current delicate balance to keep stable
VS
Act in accordance to western governing principles and end appeasement

If Taiwan is absorbed, the world loses one of its most liberal and progressive governments, setting back decades of progress and making China stronger. If the US stands for Taiwan, there is a very high risk for war but it will likely preserve the Taiwanese government and weaken China. If the current balance is maintained, we have some stability but have to still constantly deal with the tensions as different events unfold.
runec 
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Posted 12/4/16 , edited 12/7/16
I think Trump stumbled into one of the most easily avoidable diplomatic disasters possible and we should all be rather alarmed at his level of geopolitical knowledge. Its not like he hasn't had the time and opportunity so far to actually learn how to do the job of president. But he's been actively skipping out on the intelligence briefings that could have avoided something like this.

I would really rather him not start a war because he was too lazy to attend a meeting. >.>
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26 / M / Leanbox, Gameindu...
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Posted 12/4/16 , edited 12/4/16
I mean on one hand this will hurt our relationship with China, on the other hand it brings to light the absurdity of the international community being forced by China to pretend Taiwan doesn't exist even though they are one of our biggest allies in the region.

I really hope one day the communists (or rather single party gov't) get removed from power so we can actually have a friendly relationship with the Chinese, but considering this has been going on for more than half a century I won't hold my breath.
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Posted 12/4/16
I am a progressive liberal and I voted for Clinton. That being said, great move by Trump. Taiwan is an independent nation that has been a loyal, staunch ally to the United States for years. They have transformed into a full fledge democracy since the 1979 TRA and has assisted United States financially in many events, including disasters such as Katrina. We should not have to kowtow to China when conducting open diplomacy with our allies, and Taiwan is no exception. Great job President-elect Trump. This is the right direction for us. To my fellow liberals out there, take Trump out of the equation and realize that this move is the right move for us.
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Posted 12/4/16 , edited 12/4/16

runec wrote:

I think Trump stumbled into one of the most easily avoidable diplomatic disasters possible and we should all be rather alarmed at his level of geopolitical knowledge. Its not like he hasn't had the time and opportunity so far to actually learn how to do the job of president. But he's been actively skipping out on the intelligence briefings that could have avoided something like this.

I would really rather him not start a war because he was too lazy to attend a meeting. >.>


That is a valid concern. I am pro-Trump myself but I am inclined to agree that he should not hastily rush into anything. He has been confirmed to use his briefing materials by advisors but whether this move is well thought-out remains to be seen.

This is not to say we should appease China forever or we should rush headlong into war with it, but rather that we should thoroughly plan our moves before we take them, whether they are viewed as right or wrong. Beyond parties and candidates, we have the real-world dilemma of how to best serve the interests of our nation and of our neighbors and allies in a responsible way, leading by example as the world superpower.

Trump's willingness to cut through BS is refreshing but, at the same time, he should be careful when doing things since his actions will have a ripple effect worldwide. That is what it means to be the most powerful man in the world. The US may be the strongest, but China is not weak, and any sort of war will trigger all sorts of allied obligations, resulting in many countries going to war.

Still, I am for a tougher stance against China. They've been given a lot of slack for a long time, and in a literal sense, China is angry over a mere congratulatory phone call and there are people out there who have simplified it to the point where they are willing to throw Taiwan under the wheels again in order to appease China and cater to its demands despite its well-known bully tactics and disregard for global policies. From a certain point of view, it's as though we need China's approval simply to speak to an ally. The US basically threw its Taiwan ally under the wheels already in the 70s by siding with China due to the Cold War mentality to muster the most economic power possible. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, even though not really. And now the US finds itself in a deeper hole as a result of that decision, caused by growing dependence on China, a dark pit that is hard to crawl out of.

That's not to say that greater gain is bad or that strategic moves never necessitate sacrifices but, still, I would not consider this a one-sided argument as many have made it.
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Posted 12/4/16
Are we really surprised that something like this would happen? I mean the man has already violated and disregard other protocols and procedures. Whether its intentional or not due to his lack of experience is another story.
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Posted 12/4/16
@Morbidhanson's valid points would perhaps be better received without referring to the United States as "The world superpower", especially in the light of its own unacknowledged crippling national debt, coupled with the fact that countries such as China & India have already established themselves as post-industrial IT service industry 'superpowers' in their own right, (despite continuing wealth disparity).

It is throwaway U.S.-centric rhetoric such as that, which stains the validity of the rest of the message, and which makes other countries regard expansionist U.S. foreign policy with contempt, as it doesn't seem to have matured beyond the era of imperialism and installation of puppet regimes, in the guise of democratisation and (my favourite euphemism) 'regional stabilisation' (read "foreign resource acquisition & weapon sales for profit"), meanwhile millions of U.S. citizens remain jobless and/or underemployed in the wake of the GFC which taxpayers had to fund bailouts for, even as corporate executives and their entire corrupt financial infrastructure remain unchecked. No wonder there was a protest vote away from the establishment.
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Posted 12/4/16 , edited 12/4/16
I like how China is trying to decide if it was on purpose or not. Great move.
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M / Los Angeles, CA
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Posted 12/4/16 , edited 12/4/16
I'm ready for war with China. My tax dollars are paying for our military so I expect our military to defend our Taiwanese ally. China's "hurt feelings" does not and should not determine our foreign policy. There is no reason we should be fearful of openly engaging in diplomacy with our loyal friends and allies.
runec 
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Posted 12/4/16 , edited 12/4/16

Morbidhanson wrote:
This is not to say we should appease China forever or we should rush headlong into war with it, but rather that we should thoroughly plan our moves before we take them, whether they are viewed as right or wrong. Beyond parties and candidates, we have the real-world dilemma of how to best serve the interests of our nation and of our neighbors and allies in a responsible way, leading by example as the world superpower.


Political situations like this are not easily solved and a lot of the time do not need to be solved with direct action. But China is a country where appearances and protocol are very important. Maintaining the political ambiguity that keeps this situation stable requires that no one start making "official" moves.

Right now, all three countries involved benefit economically from this situation being stable. However, if any one side makes an official declaration the other's will act and it will get ugly. Which is why Trump's blunder here is such a problem. A policy of political ambiguity is precisely what maintains the stability here under the table.

As for solving a real world dilemma; The thing is the longer this situation is maintained the greater the chance that changing public opinion and politics will lead to a favourable outcome. Support for ( or indifference too ) Tawain's independence has slowly been growing for years in mainland China the longer this has gone on and is just barely the majority opinion now.

But if an overt move is made then hard stances will be taken.

Thus is the art of diplomacy. An art Trump is sorely lacking in I'm afraid. The rest of the world are not his supporters and nor can he talk to them as such. As President of the United States every word you utter has considerable power whether you intend it too or not and the rest of the world has been paying very close attention to Trump for months.

He needs to be extremely careful with what he says and does.





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Posted 12/4/16
International farce can suck a lemon. He did nothing wrong, if the UN is that pathetic is should be dissolved immediately.
runec 
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Posted 12/4/16

Emtro wrote:
International farce can suck a lemon. He did nothing wrong, if the UN is that pathetic is should be dissolved immediately.


He just spit in the face of your second largest trading partner. Completely by accident it seems. Hopefully, the taste of lemon will tide you over when half the products you buy triple in price. -.-

And what does the UN have to do with any of this? No wait, forget I asked. I don't want to know.
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Posted 12/4/16 , edited 12/4/16

runec wrote:
He just spit in the face of your second largest trading partner. Completely by accident it seems. Hopefully, the taste of lemon will tide you over when half the products you buy triple in price. -.-

And what does the UN have to do with any of this? No wait, forget I asked. I don't want to know.


You read the article didn't you?
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Posted 12/4/16 , edited 12/4/16

bensonc120 wrote:

I'm ready for war with China. My tax dollars are paying for our military so I expect our military to defend our Taiwanese ally. China's "hurt feelings" does not and should not determine our foreign policy. There is no reason we should be fearful of openly engaging in diplomacy with our loyal friends and allies.


I'm sorry but didn't people also vote for Trump to avoid war in the first place?

Or is that all just a false pretense?
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Posted 12/4/16

Adjacent-Taurus wrote:
I'm sorry but didn't people also vote for Trump to avoid war in the first place?


This makes me wish people would go back and actually look at Trump's policies. Saying he didn't have any policies was a lie. Yes, he had policies, he talked about them all the time. No, he has never back tracked on a policy. Yes, he has added to and elaborated to them.

But this one hasn't changed much at all. His position is to stop with the imperialist bullshitting. We either go in for victory (which means we take territory instead of just smash-release-repeat) or we don't put our hand in where it's not wanted. His position in the same speeches was also that, unless incredible crimes against humanity were evident and proven, we would not put our hands into wars unless someone bites us.

This is someone potentially biting us.
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