Update 12:15 a.m ET December 3: In the first official response from the Chinese government to the call between U.S. President-elect Trump and the Taiwanese president, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi was described “stressing the good relationship” shared by the United States and China.
“Upholding the One China policy is the base rock and an important political foundation for a healthy development of China-U.S. relations,” Wang Yi was quoted by the New York Times. “Of course, we hope this will not be interrupted in any way.”
While Donald Trump has tweeted that it was Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen who initiated the telephone conversation, “diplomats with ties to Taiwan” quoted by the Times described that scenario as “highly unlikely.”
Foreign Minister Wang reportedly partially backed Trump’s assertion, stating that the call was a “petty action by the Taiwan side.”
Original article: The New York Times is reporting on the comments of a senior White House official, speaking on condition of anonymity, describing a President-elect Donald Trump-Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen telephone conversation earlier today as a “provocation” to the Chinese and as creating the potential for “significant” fallout.
The official pointed to a “bitter protest” on the part of the Chinese after the United States followed through on previously negotiated arms agreement provisions and sold the country weapons.
China is reported to view Taiwan as a “breakaway province” and has a history of interfering when nations conduct trade and diplomatic relations with it.
The White House was said to not have been informed about the Trump-Tsai call until after it happened.
The Trump-Taiwan President conversation is thought to be the first by an incoming commander-in-chief or president since the United States cut ties with the nation, choosing instead to recognize the People’s Republic of China, in 1979.
A statement released by the office of the president-elect described the Taiwanese president offering “her congratulations.” In return, Trump was said to have “congratulated President Tsai on becoming president of Taiwan earlier this year.”
CNN is reporting that China’s state-run CCTV is calling the Trump-Tsai call “an unprecedented break” with “accepted” protocol between the United States and China.
There is said to be no reaction from the Chinese government with regard to the news of the call, as of yet.
“The Mainland says it firmly opposes official contact in any form between Washington and Taipei,” the CCTV reportedly stated.
Barry Pavel, with the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security at the Atlantic Council, said that he expects a reaction from China in the next “several hours.”
“I don’t expect it to be pretty,” Pavel stated.
CNN states that it is not clear whether President-elect Trump is deliberately attempting to raise the ire of the Chinese or if it is a result of “his and his team’s inexperience.”
The United States acknowledged Beijing’s “One China Policy” in 1979, which states that there is only one China, of which Taiwan is a part. The policy has caused a division among other nations globally, with some recognizing Taiwan, or the Republic of China, and others recognizing China, or the People’s Republic of China.
The majority of nations, including the United States and Canada, recognize the People’s Republic of China and maintain informal relations with Taiwan.
“These are major pivots in foreign policy without any plan. That’s how wars start,” Democrat Chris Murphy with the Senate Foreign Relations committee stated.
A special assistant to George W. Bush, Michael Green, predicted that the Government of China will “go ballistic” and that Chinese President Xi Jinping will find ways to both privately and publicly warn the incoming U.S. administration of its faux pas.
Other recent calls between Donald Trump and other world leaders, such as British Prime Minister Theresa May and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, are said to have left diplomats “aghast,” as reported by the New York Times.
“If you travel to the U.S., you should let me know,” Donald Trump reportedly advised Theresa May in a recent “breezy” telephone conversation.
The President-elect also told Nawaz Sharif that Pakistan is “amazing with tremendous opportunities” and that the prime minister is a “terrific guy.” CNN notes that tensions exist between the United States and Pakistan with regard to several issues, such as militants along the Afghan border and the presence of Osama bin Laden in the country at the time of his capture and killing. As a result, no U.S. leader has visited Pakistan in more than 10 years.
[Featured Image by Ashley Pon/Getty Images]