Government by chaos: Trump Speaks With Taiwan’s Leader, a Possible Affront to China
Mark Landler reports in the NY Times a good example of why we should have avoiding electing a stone narcissist with no relevant government experience and no knowledge of law or policy because he cannot read anything longer than a tweet:
President-elect Donald J. Trump spoke by telephone with Taiwan’s president on Friday, a striking break with nearly four decades of diplomatic practice that could precipitate a major rift with China even before Mr. Trump takes office.
Mr. Trump’s office said he spoke with the Taiwanese president, Tsai Ing-wen, “who offered her congratulations.”
He is believed to be the first president or president-elect who has spoken to a Taiwanese leader since 1979, when the United States severed diplomatic ties with Taiwan after its recognition of the People’s Republic of China.
In the statement, Mr. Trump’s office said the two leaders noted that “close economic, political, and security ties” exist between Taiwan and the United States. The statement also said Mr. Trump “congratulated President Tsai on becoming president of Taiwan earlier this year.”
The White House was not told about Mr. Trump’s call until after it happened, according to a senior administration official. The official spoke on ground rules of anonymity to discuss sensitive diplomatic relations.
But the potential fallout from the conversation was significant, the administration official said, noting that the Chinese government issued a bitter protest after the United States sold weapons to Taiwan as part of a well-established arms agreement.
Mr. Trump’s call with President Tsai is a far bigger provocation, though . . .
OTOH, Trump certainly does know how to gin up press coverage: do something outrageous! And while that works in the world of wrestling and entertainment, the consequences of outrageous actions back here in real life can be quite serious and even costing lives. And I really do think he knew his call was “naughty” and would get the elite (i.e., those who know what they’re doing and understand the situation far beyond what Trump understands, if he’s even thought about it (which seems unlikely)) riled up and thus please the rubes. To him, it probably seemed quite the giggle.
We are not amused.
UPDATE: Ah! The call was for business reasons. Kevin Drum notes:
Of course, maybe Trump was just calling to ask for a business favor:
The mayor of Taoyuan confirmed rumors on Wednesday that US president-elect Donald Trump was considering constructing a series of luxury hotels and resorts in the northwest Taiwanese city. A representative from the Trump Organization paid a visit to Taoyuan in September….Other reports indicate that Eric Trump, the president-elect’s second son and executive vice president of the Trump Organization, will be coming to Taoyuan later this year to discuss the potential business opportunity.