Thursday, November 10, 2016

Trump and Taiwan Commentary Roundup

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I am entering on the history of a period rich in disasters, frightful in its wars, torn by civil strife, and even in peace full of horrors. Tacitus, The Histories, Book I
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7 comments:

Grant said...

Hard not to feel scared. Is Trump going to sell Taiwan for some trade deal? Or start getting into a twitter war with China?

Then again, I've heard that Trump plans to leave the governing to Pence, so who the hell knows what the actual foreign policy is going to be.

Alexandre Charron-Trudel said...

Lots of good articles here, but I don't see your personal thoughts on this, which I have previously enjoyed reading. You hint at them with the snippet from that one article, but I've also seen you take the position that those political commentators who label people as "anti-beijing" and go on about military tension are exaggerating the situation.

On the other hand, if that snippet is your position, then I agree. I am no fan of Trump, a would-be tyrant who has argued since 1987 that the US essentially ought to be a mercenary, and should withdraw its troops from both the Asia-Pacific and Europe unless these nations explicitly agree to be a part of some sort of US imperial project and pay up accordingly. To wit, he once argued during the Gulf War that Kuwait should hand over 20% of its oil profits since "Kuwait wouldn't exist without the US military."

Given that, I fully expect him to attempt to try to withdraw these troops, and I fully expect that in that event, the PRC will gleefully rub its hands and give an ultimatum to Taiwan on annexation which allows for the use of military force if Taiwan doesn't agree to it. I also expect that, in that event, the PRC will almost instantly go after the Senkaku Islands and possibly begin to make loud growling noises about Okinawa to Japan. Nothing would please the ultranationalists in the PRC more, I suspect, than the ability to defeat Japan in a short, sharp, war to "take its historic territory back" a la Russo-Japanese War of 1905. If the PRC could do so in a time when Trump had withdrawn US troops or just withdrawn them, it would end the US alliance system overnight, and basically return the US to its status before WWII as a geopolitical backwater. It would be almost impossible for the US to reconstruct its alliances after something like that, and for every other autocracy it would be open season for whatever military revanchism they might not previously have undertaken (see: Russia, Eastern Europe).

Anonymous said...

Interesting article about Kissinger's view on Obama, Trump and Hillary

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2016/11/kissinger-order-and-chaos/506876/

Michael Turton said...

Given that, I fully expect him to attempt to try to withdraw these troops, and I fully expect that in that event, the PRC will gleefully rub its hands and give an ultimatum to Taiwan on annexation which allows for the use of military force if Taiwan doesn't agree to it

I am not the least bit worried about our political situation. Trump's advisors all strongly support Taiwan.

Raj said...

I think that Mike is right. The people Trump looks like he'll be relying on for foreign policy are all pro-Taiwan. I just don't think Trump is interested enough in foreign policy to ignore them all - not least if he thinks there's money to be made selling Taiwan more stuff.

It's possible that the US may draw down numbers of personnel stationed in South Korea and Japan a bit, but to be honest the US was never going to deploy tens of thousands of marines to Taiwan anyway. If it intervened, it would be by sea and air. As for Japan and South Korea, arguably they don't need tens of thousands of troops stationed on their soil. For Japan it's the US Navy, and for South Korea perhaps the Air Force.

Alexandre Charron-Trudel said...

@michael Turton,

Thanks for your response, and for allaying my fears about that possibility.

Regards,

Alexandre.

Anonymous said...

Hillary was considering selling out Taiwan.

https://wikileaks.org/clinton-emails/emailid/23730

Obama was not friendly to Taiwan. Hillary might not be better. Taiwan needs to do everything to make sure Trump presidency do better for Taiwan.