Trump calls Taiwan: Diplomacy for personal profit?

Donald Trump made a call to the President of Taiwan, an island China calls its own and which lost diplomatic ties with the U.S. in 1979, the result of Richard Nixon’s earlier move to restore ties with the mainland.

Before Nixon, the United States recognized the Taiwanese regime as the legitimate government of the mainland, denying recognition to the communist government in Beijing following Mao Tse Tung’s revolutionary victory over the Kuomintang forces of Chiang Kai-shek, who withdrew what was left of his forces to the island in 1950.

Since diplomatic recognition with the island was revoked, no U.S. President had spoken to its government,

Until Donald Trump.

Trump’s call complicates the ongoing Game of Zones being played by China, Japan, Vietnam, and the Philippines over control of oil, gas, and other resources beneath the contested waters.

China, needless to say, reacted to The Donald’s provocative ploy.

From Reuters:

China lodged a diplomatic protest on Saturday after U.S. President-elect Donald Trump spoke by phone with President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan, but blamed the self-ruled island Beijing claims as its own for the “petty” move.

The 10-minute telephone call with Taiwan’s leadership was the first 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”.

China’s Foreign Ministry said it had lodged “stern representations” with what it called the “relevant U.S. side”, urging the careful handling of the Taiwan issue to avoid any unnecessary disturbances in ties.

“The one China principle is the political basis of the China-U.S. relationship,” it said.

The wording implied the protest had gone to the Trump camp, but the ministry provided no explanation.

But there’s another game afoot

And that’s a hotel apparently planned by a Trump corporation for the island.

That little but very significant fact would lead to a very big question: Is Trump planning to use the White House as a fulcrum to further his own business interests?

From the Guardian:

Weeks before President-elect Donald Trump’s controversial phone call with Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, a businesswoman claiming to be associated with his conglomerate made inquiries about a major investment in building luxury hotels as part of the island’s new airport development.

The woman, known only as Ms Chen arrived from the US in September to meet the mayor of Taoyuan, Cheng Wen-tsan, one of the senior politicians involved in the Aerotropolis project, a large urban development being planned around the renovation of Taiwan’s main airport, Taoyuan International.

“She said she was associated with the Trump corporation and she would like to propose a possible investment project in the future, especially hotels,” said an official familiar with the project, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

“One thing quite sure from her side was that she would like to bring the Trump corporation here to build the hotel,” said the official, who did not know if Chen had a Trump Organization business card.

Can things get any sleazier?

Knowing Trump, we’re certain they can.


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