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World Viewpoints: Trump and the Taiwan Call

China – China Daily 12/3/16: Friday's phone call between Taiwan leader Tsai Ing-wen and US President-elect Donald Trump, …came as a striking move but it does not bear the same importance as it seems to be. … For Trump, it exposed nothing but his and his transition team's inexperience in dealing with foreign affairs. …He will have to recognize the significance of prudently and appropriately addressing these sensitive issues after being inaugurated. … He cannot afford to damage the one-China policy, which has been maintained by every US administration since 1979 to serve as the political foundation for bilateral ties.

United States – New York Post 12/3/16: China issued a formal diplomatic protest Saturday after Donald Trump took a call from the president of Taiwan, but Congressional Republicans and diplomatic hard-liners applauded the Friday phone chat as a clear sign there’s a new sheriff in town. …“The president of the United States should talk to whomever he wants if he thinks it’s in the interest of the United States, and nobody in Beijing gets to dictate who we talk to,” Former UN Ambassador John Bolton told Fox News on Saturday. Bolton has pushed for closer relations with Taiwan and a tougher American stance against China’s aggressive territorial claims in the South China Sea. …“Interesting how the U.S. sells Taiwan billions of dollars of military equipment but I should not accept a congratulatory call,” Trump wrote on Twitter.

United Kingdom – The Guardian 12/4/16: Many had predicted Donald Trump’s controversial decision to hold a 10-minute phone call with Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, …would elicit a ferocious response from China’s leaders, who regard Taiwan as a breakaway province that should one day be reunified with the mainland. … However, Beijing’s public response has so far been measured… downplaying the development as “a petty move” by Taiwan.

Taiwan – Taiwan News 12/4/16: Reacting to phone calls, The Global Times,which is owned by the Communist Party of China mouthpiece the People's Daily, published a report that says Taiwan will have to pay a price for whatever it does to “break away from the status quo.” …The Global Times report said China has the capability to punish any excessive acts by Tsai and will use that capability without hesitation. China keeps a firm grip on the definition of the status quo across the Taiwan Strait, and that anything Taiwan does to “break away from the status quo” will have to pay a price, the report said.  …In response, Taiwan’s Internet users have flooded local social media platforms with comments and have questioned why instead of singling out Taiwan, China didn’t directly warn the U.S. and threaten to punish Trump, who was essentially the person who broke “the status quo.” …"China dare not threaten the U.S. because it’s only capable of intimidating a small island," said one user. …"The more China reacts to the call, the more Trump will get pumped up," another said.     

China – Xinhua 12/3/16: “It must be stated that there is only one China and Taiwan is an inalienable part of China's territory, and the government of the People's Republic of China is the sole legitimate government that represents China. Those are all facts recognized by the international community," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said on Saturday. … The White House on Friday, after Trump received a telephone call from President Tsai Ing-wen, reaffirmed backing for its long-standing support of the one-China policy and the three China-U.S. joint communiques.

United States –  The Washington Post 12/4/16: President-elect Donald Trump might have broken with four decades of diplomatic protocol by speaking to Taiwanese leader Tsai Ing-wen on Friday. But the phone call should not have come as a complete surprise. Some critics portrayed the move as the thoughtless blundering of a foreign policy novice, but other experts say it appears more calculated, planned in advance to signal a new, robust approach to relations with China. …Trump, …made standing up to China’s “rape” of the U.S. economy one of his central campaign messages… and advisers explicitly warned last month that relations with China were in for a shake-up. 

Taiwan – China Post 12/5/16: Several local media outlets have reported that President Tsai Ing-wen was planning to visit three of the Republic of China's diplomatic allies, namely Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador, in January. On her way back to Taiwan from Central America, Tsai will transit in New York, during which she is likely to meet with Trump's senior advisers, including Trump's chief of staff Reince Priebus, reports said. … The Presidential Office said that once the schedules of presidential or vice-presidential state visits were finalized, it would make a public announcement.

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