Trump really needs to stop calling leaders in East Asia. I'd rather be biking than writing on this stuff. But just before I left for another sojourn on the east coast with a group of close friends, the news came that Trump had made an about-face on one China.
The NYTimes here says...
President Trump told President Xi Jinping of China on Thursday evening that the United States would honor the “One China” policy, reversing his earlier expressions of doubt about the longtime diplomatic understanding and removing a major source of tension between the United States and China since shortly after he was elected.The NYT report does not make clear what Trump's statement said, that the US would honor "our" one China policy (not China's). That little word, as many people pointed out, was highly significant, since it shows that the US is going to maintain policy continuity. The US one China policy does not include Taiwan in China.
It was also important for another reason. It was rather painfully obvious that Trump would "cave" on one China. For example, J Michael Cole observed a while back:
But one thing is certain: the likelihood that the United States will scuttle “one China” is next to nil, as such a policy goes against even what the more creative (and pro-Taiwan) of Trump’s advisers on Taiwan and China, people like John Bolton, have argued over the years.What that "our" signaled was that people who understand the policy were in charge, in the background, of maintaining it. I doubt very much Trump himself insisted on the "our" -- that had to be inserted by someone who knew what he was doing. The situation thus appears to be as I argued before...
....not much will change because Trump is surrounded by people who will keep policies that help Taiwan in place and expand around the edges where they can....wise hands steering Taiwan policy? Good to see.
The Economist observed that Trump's one China pleased Taiwan as well. The Xi-Trump call also raised another issue, as Trump materially benefited from it, apparently, in violation of the US Constitution.
Catching up links:
- Legislative delegation visits the US
- Latest Global Taiwan brief
- Jeff Kingston on 2-28
- One of the KMT supporting orgs in DC calls for the US to sell Taiwan advanced fighters. Hilarious, since the KMT opposed such sales during the Chen years and the Ma Administration kept the military budget lower than promised.
- Foreigners liking Taiwan stocks...
- Chris Horton argues that Taiwan's role in APEC more important than ever
- WSJ: A Trump agenda for Taiwan
- Forbes on missile coercion against Taiwan
- Gangsters and now KTV hostesses recruited to fill KMT ranks. The wife of the boss of the famed Golden Jaguar KTV ran for the legislature for the KMT a few years ago. Looks like someone is trying to pack the party membership just in time for the Chairmanship election.
- Lots of attention to the news that the US is thinking of using uniformed marines for the new AIT office out in Neihu.
- China's attempt to punish Taiwan by withholding tourists failed.
- INDIA: Cole: India brushes off Beijing's complaints about Taiwan's women delegation visit to India. India says it ain't political. India adopts strategy to keep Taiwan engaged.
- Good piece by Bill Kazer arguing that Taiwan needs to hear Trump say "democracy"
- A by the numbers piece in the National Interest studded with misunderstandings about the coming flashpoint of Taiwan, etc. You know the drill
- Taipower must remove nuke waste from Lanyu within nine years
- AUDIO of GTI's conference on Trump's Taiwan policy
- WWII Japanese pilot worshipped in Taiwan
- WAY COOL: Nushu, the Chinese script only women could read
- NEW BOOK: Taiwan's social movements under Ma Ying-jeou
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