Trump, stand up to China

The Washington Times Weekly - - Letters To The Editor - KENT WANG

Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump’s sug­ges­tion to use Tai­wan as a bar­gain­ing chip with China made it clear that Mr. Trump is will­ing to buck tra­di­tion as a ne­go­ti­at­ing tac­tic. But at what price? As his­tory can at­test, be­fore they took of­fice sev­eral U.S. pres­i­dents loudly crit­i­cized Bei­jing, leav­ing Taipei with high ex­pec­ta­tions. Pres­i­dents Nixon, Carter, Rea­gan, Clin­ton, and Ge­orge W. Bush all did this. But when push came to shove, the pres­i­dents who had the worst im­pact on Tai­wan were of­ten the ones who crit­i­cized China the most loudly. Is Mr. Trump re­ally go­ing to be the lone ex­cep­tion?

Mr. Trump’s call with Tai­wan’s pres­i­dent sig­ni­fies his un­der­stand­ing that Tai­wan is a na­tion, and the con­ver­sa­tion was a good start to the devel­op­ment of re­la­tions be­tween Tai­wan and the new U.S. ad­min­is­tra­tion. Mr. Trump’s ques­tion­ing of the “One China” pol­icy not only sends a stern mes­sage to those nations that chose to kow­tow to Bei­jing’s bul­ly­ing when it comes to Tai­wan, but also stops China’s ef­forts to di­min­ish Tai­wan. Now China must stop forc­ing iso­la­tion on Tai­wan.

The in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity might now start to see the im­por­tance of deal­ing with Tai­wan on its own terms, and more im­por­tantly, de­fer­ring is­sues about sovereignty to the 23 mil­lion peo­ple that call Tai­wan home. The new ad­min­is­tra­tion should do more to sup­port Tai­wan, which is a suc­cess­ful democ­racy and an im­por­tant strate­gic part­ner in East Asia.

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