Friday, December 9, 2016
There were several kerfuffle’s that the alphabet networks and their mindless audience pushed as being calamitous actions taken by Donald Trump this past week. The two that caught my attention occurred while listening to NPR and applied to Taiwan and Pakistan. Seems that Mr. Trump accepting calls from the democratically elected Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and responding to a similar call from Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif were appalling, shocking and destabilizing, averring that the President Elect supposedly upended the traditional convention on how to deal with Chinese geopolitics, consequently destroying nearly 40 years of standard US diplomacy regarding Taiwan, and our relations with India via Pakistan.
This response was predictable based on how the MSM media has dealt with Trump and hung on his each and every word and tweet. Those critical of Trump say that his actions are just thoughtless blundering mistakes and signs of his ineptness in foreign policy. This was not the case. These single-minded individual elite’s infer that this is a reflection of Trump being a political novice. I take the contrarian view and assert it is the complete opposite.
The US relationship with China has continuously been all over the place since the end of the Nixon Administration. Likewise, we can only thank Obama with his droning and unauthorized raids in Pakistan (Bin Laden included) as only bring about more political destabilization with respect to diplomatic actions with the nation. It is as if the pundits do not see how their speculations on behalf of ratings and sensationalization, are being overstated.
Let’s start with Taiwan and China. After the Ford administration, upon taking office, President Jimmy Carter was in such a big hurry to normalize relations with China that in 1978 Congress got involved to make sure that America’s mutual defense treaty with Taiwan would not fall by the wayside. So under the leadership of Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy, a bipartisan congressional alliance proposed the Taiwan Relations Act after Carter ignored their concerns. In essence congress indicated that the United States would not hesitate to aid Taiwan if it was invaded by China going against terms of diplomacy established in 1949. Carter like today’s media pundits were afraid this would upset and hurt China’s feelings.
By the Time Bill Clinton was in office, a ‘One China’ policy and de-recognition of Taiwan was in full effect and since his Administration; we have not been honest in our foreign policy objectives. So in simple terms, the current reaction to Trump’s actions in regards to China-Taiwan may be unhelpful and may hurt the fledgling Taiwan democracy and should be considered more important than papers and air time advertisement media outlets sell.
All we can take away from this is that Trump is making good onhis tough talk on China and that he will shake the ways of old off and not be restrained by the bureaucratic practices of the old political establishment guard. Just by going against 37 years of China-US diplomatic protocol of the“One China” policy the US accepts and respects without query. No US President or President-elect has ever called a Taiwanese leader in recent decades. Trump’s independence is what the story should be about not to mention two things are abrogated from the popular analysis: (1) Chiang Kai-shek is no longer the leader of Taiwan and (2) Trump isn’t the first president or president-elect since 1979 to have communicated directly with a president of Taiwan noting that if memory serves me correctly Reagan did the same thing when he was president elect.
Fact is politicians on both sides of the isle have been reconsidering albeit very quietly the US-China-Taiwan relationship since 1989 (Tiananmen Square) and the question if they really want Taiwan to unify with China. In fact I bet I could find support if I really wanted to be super-duper accurate that since Tiananmen Square, the US have been selling more and more weapons to Taiwan, but this is mere speculation on my part. The point is Trump has not only shown himself thus far to be an effective negotiator, he has also been continuously underestimated every step of the way so far by folk whom think they know it all in the media and has proven that there is more than one way to skin a cat metaphorically.
Adding Pakistan to the mix, we see the same thing if we are truly objective before we are outraged. It is clear that President-elect Donald Trump may be amenable to similar eccentric methods regarding bilateral ties with the nation and Pakistani Prime Minister. In this case, the media analysts have called Trump’s actions on one end ridiculous and the other distressing. Based on what I read all he said was that he thought Sharif was “a terrific guy” and wanted to visit what he described as a fantastic country with great people speaking of Pakistan. What all of this suggest is that Trump is not the traditional status quo political cat to the disdain of the traditional American political elite and mainstream media. All he wants is for the US to be a part in trying to secure peace between India and Pakistan. What’s wrong with that?
The problem is that the reaction of the US media may be the biggest issue with respect to both China and Taiwan, and Pakistan and India by blowing all of this out of proportion in their desire to “get Trump” by any means necessary. Fact is that US foreign policy is fluid and changes and over stating events as the aforementioned can do more harm than good. It is as if Trump taking a phone call is more problematic for the Chinese than Obama selling four missile carrying frigates and billions in other weaponry to Taiwan. Then there is the fact that Trump isn’t even in office yet and has not even laid out any foreign policy. So just calm down and wait for something tangible to report on and not personal bias in the form of made-up fears.