All of you who are downplaying or even celebrating Donald Trump’s phone call with Taiwan and his subsequent Twittering must not have a clue.
This isn’t posturing. It’s a reversal of 37 years of hard-earned diplomatic position, overturned with a phone call. The central issue in the world’s most important bilateral relationship. Maybe scraped away with a Tweet.
It isn’t “standing up to China.”It’s stupid.
Taiwan is not a side issue for China. It’s the issue. It isn’t really even a Communist Party issue. Taiwan is something China feels in its collective heart. I haven’t talked to any Chinese person that doesn’t have an opinion about Taiwan. A strong one. And they all have the same opinion: Taiwan is China.
Some of that is because it’s been drilled into them since grade school. Some of it is because of the propaganda in the papers and on the television. But James Palmer in Foreign Policy is right, if the Communist Party and its slogans and propaganda disappeared tomorrow, no one would change their mind.
This is playing with fire. The radioactive kind.