Seeds: From 1979 onwards, no U.S. President has spoken directly to a Taiwanese president either in person or via phone because when America and China reopened diplomatic ties in 1979 after the tensions of the Cold War, the U.S. agreed that it would break off ties with Taiwan (this is called the “One-China policy.”) The history of China and Taiwan’s relations is much more complicated, but basically, Taiwan isn’t recognized as an independent nation by many countries including the U.S., and China labels them a “breakaway province.” China and Taiwan have a tense relationship at best, for more info, click here.
Core: On Friday President-elect Donald Trump had a 10 minute phone call with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen. A statement from Trump’s transition office said that they congratulated each other on winning their elections. What was discussed beyond this is unclear, (though some sources state that business and foreign policy were discussed) along with who initiated the call.
Skin: China lodged a diplomatic complaint with the U.S. over the call, and the White House responded saying that the U.S. would continue with the “One-China policy” to promote peace and stability.
Leaves: One can only speculate about what this means for the future of U.S.-China relations. Some believe the call is a foreign policy error, and that it suggests that President-elect Trump is stirring up controversy, whether intentional or not. Others believe that it was a calculated move designed to reassert America as a prominent international power.
Food For Thought: Do you think the call was the right decision? Do you think it shows his political prowess? Or foreign policy failure?
Think we missed something? Tell us in the comments.