No Continuity between Obama and TrumpPosted: December 17, 2016
Reuters’ report “Obama says change in U.S. policy toward Taiwan would have consequences with China” shows that Obama wants Trump to continue his diplomacy with respect to China. His words sound as if he is teaching Trump what to do in dealing with China.
I don’t think that Trump is so stupid as to want US-China relations to deteriorate as it will only hurt US interests. What Trump wants is to improve the relations to benefit US economy.
Trump knows well that he should not continue Obama’s stupid diplomacy.
His first wise move is to improve US-Russia relations in order to cut Russia-China de facto alliance.
In Europe, Obama is stupid to take lead in punishing Russia for Russia’s military actions in Ukraine. Russia’s military response in Ukraine is the result of EU instigated street coop that overthrew a pro-Russian president democratically elected.
US interests have not been involved in the conflicts between EU and Russia in Ukraine though the US wants to contain Russia to prevent it from becoming a rival to US world leadership. However, EU has much more earnest desire to contain Russia as Russia, including the Soviet Union, has long been a threat to Western Europe. Moreover, EU is rich and strong enough to deal with Russia. Why shall the US incur huge costs to deal with Russia for EU’s interests. Trump is wise to exploit the conflicts between EU and Russia to urge EU to protect itself or pay for US protection so that such protection will benefit the US instead of being a burden on the US.
Does Trump not want the US to maintain its leadership? No, Trump is well aware that the US is not strong enough to directly take part in others’ conflict to make others obey. He has to let others confront one another. The US, being the strongest, shall exploit the situation to act as an arbitrator to maintain peace and stability.
So shall be Trump’s way in Asia. The US has to be an arbitrator in the conflicts between Taiwan and China, Japan and China, South Korea and China and South China Sea claimants and China and between Russia and Japan. If he can sow discord between Russia and China, he will be the arbitrator between Russia and China. If the US can use its strength and wisdom to ease the conflict and maintain peace and stability, it will be respected as world leader.
If the US directly takes part in the conflicts of others like what it has been doing in the South China Sea as a party to the conflict but fails to make the major party to the conflict obey its leadership, it will only show its weakness and lose its position as world leader.
Obama has precisely been doing such stupid things in Asia. Shall Trump continue Obama’s stupid policy?
To be world leader, one certainly shall be the strongest, but that is no enough. He shall first of all have wisdom.
I believe Trump is not as stupid as Obama to continue Obama’s diplomacy. His use of Taiwan as a bargaining chip is a risky move but he indeed has no other chip to use.
Whether he is wise enough to be world leader to shrewdly use US economic and military strength, we will wait and see.
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Reuters’ report, full text of which can be read below:
Obama says change in U.S. policy toward Taiwan would have consequences with China
By Roberta Rampton and Jeff Mason | WASHINGTON Fri Dec 16, 2016 | 8:00pm EST
President Barack Obama said on Friday it was fine for President-elect Donald Trump to review Washington’s “one-China” policy toward Taiwan, but he cautioned that a shift could lead to significant consequences in the U.S. relationship with Beijing.
“For China, the issue of Taiwan is as important as anything on their docket,” Obama said at a news conference. “The idea of one China is at the heart of their conception as a nation and so if you are going to upend this understanding, you have to have thought through what … the consequences are.”
China lodged a diplomatic protest earlier this month after Trump, a Republican, spoke by phone with President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan. The 10-minute telephone call was the first of its kind by a U.S. president-elect or president since President Jimmy Carter switched diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China in 1979, acknowledging Taiwan as part of “one China”.
Obama noted that, under the decades-old policy, China had recognized Taiwan was its own entity that did things its own way, while Taiwan had agreed that, with some autonomy, it would not charge ahead and declare independence.
“That status quo, although not completely satisfactory to any of the parties involved, has kept the peace and allowed the Taiwanese to be a pretty successful … economy and a people who have a high degree of self-determination,” Obama said.
The Democratic president said he had advised Trump that foreign policy had to be conducted in a systematic, deliberate, intentional way.
“There’s probably no bilateral relationship that carries more significance and … where there’s also the potential, if that relationship breaks down or goes into a full conflict mode, that everybody is worse off,” he said of the U.S. relationship with China.
He said Beijing would not treat a departure from U.S. policy toward Taiwan lightly.
“The Chinese will not treat that the way they’ll treat some other issues. They won’t even treat it the way they treat issues around the South China Sea, where we’ve had a lot of tensions,” he said.
“This goes to the core of how they see themselves. And their reaction on this issue could end up being very significant. That doesn’t mean that you have to adhere to everything that’s been done in the past.”
(additional reporting by Julia Harte and David Alexander; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)
Note: This is Reuters report I reblog here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.