The Book!

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Taipei Calling





A lot of folks are upset at Trump for taking a call from the president of Taiwan, considering it either a costly blunder or a reckless act.

I don’t see it.

It is simply not America’s business to carry water for the Chinese regime. An American citizen has the right to talk to anyone he pleases. China’s internal affairs are China’s problem, not America’s.

It is simply showing weakness for an American president-to-be too be overly sensitive to China’s wishes. It implies subservience. If China really wants something so exceptional from the US as a consistent denial of the reality on the ground, they ought to be prepared to give up something significant for it. Chin has not, after all, been behaving terribly well recently from the US point of view, with their encroachments in the South China Sea.

Some are protesting that the move makes no economic sense. China is a crucial trading partner, and holds a huge amount of US debt. Taiwan is, after all, only a small island of 20 million people.

But that cuts both ways. It is servile and defeatist to assume the US needs trade with China more than China needs trade with the US. Why so? Why not bargain hard? Chins holds lots of US debt? Fine—so they can refuse to lend any more. On the other hand, the US could suspend payments on that debt. Now who is worse off?

Looks to me like a savvy move. Projects an image of strength.  

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