The things are simple. Taiwan president Tsai Ing-wen made a courtesy call to US President-Elect Donald Trump. Both speak very little and it was a courtesy call as per both. But this act made the Giant China feel marginalised and insecure and it termed the conversation as “an attack on China’s sovereignty”.
Trump-Tsai was the first such conversation between a US president or president-elect and a leader of the self-ruled island since ties between America and Taiwan were severed in 1979.
China considers Taiwan a disloyal province and gets irked with countries who try to maintain diplomatic relations with both Taipei and Beijing.
The Business tycoon Trump is meddling in international relations and making the giants nervous like he did to ‘Secretary’ Clinton. This time the gun shifts to China. A Recent act of Donald Trump to directly call to the Taiwan President has a potential of damaging the diplomatic course with China and also to give the Taiwan a voice on international fora.
Not only that, the Trump defended his tearing up of the protocol and talk to President Tsai on 2 December, saying- “I don’t want China dictating to me and this was a call put into me,” Trump said. “It was a very nice call. Short. And why should some other nation be able to say I can’t take a call?”
More than that, in an interview with the Fox News on Sunday, the bullying Trump questioned why the U.S. should continue to observe a “One-China policy” unless Beijing is willing to make concessions on policies that obstruct American interests. He identified China’s currency tactics, tariffs and military buildup in the South China Sea, and North Korea’s nuclear program.
China seemed unprepared for this “attack on their sovereignty” by the US President Elect. Ten days after Tsai-Trump ‘courtesy call’, China came forward to make any comment on Tsai-Trump conversation.
The Chinese MOFA website published a statement of its spokesperson Geng Shuang who warned that Trump risks treading on an issue of unrivalled importance to Beijing. “We are seriously concerned about it,” ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a press briefing in Beijing on Monday.
“The Taiwan question has a bearing on China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and is one of China’s core interests.”
Notably, the affection is from both sides. Taiwan Prez Tsai President Tsai Ing-wen explains that Taiwan attaches equal importance to relations with the U.S. and mainland China as both are critical to peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.
On 8 October she clarifies that both Taiwan and the US share common values and interests and enjoy close political, economic, social, cultural and security ties. She also thanked the U.S. government for its staunch support of Taiwan over the years and its long-term security commitment to the nation based on the Taiwan Relations Act and Six Assurances.
The Taiwan MOFA statement said that Taiwan and the United States not only share in common such values as democracy, freedom, and respect for human rights, but also enjoy close political, economic, security, and cultural ties. The ROC government looks forward to working with the next US administration to further deepen bilateral relations and promote peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region
But the China is showing its diktat of ‘One China Policy’ to grab a forcible loyalty of Taiwan.
China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang says that the Taiwan question bears on China's sovereignty and territorial integrity and touches China’s core interests. Adherence to the one-China principle serves as the political foundation for the development of China-US ties.
He warns that if this foundation is wobbled and weakened, then there is no possibility for the two countries to grow their relations in a sound and steady way and cooperate on key areas.
When asked that phone call between Tsai Ing-wen and Trump on December 2 was a very short one. Trump reacted to China’s stand and questions why should some other nation be able to say he can't take a call and thought it would have been very disrespectful not taking it.
Look what China says... “As for the phone call, we have already made our position clear on many occasions. I would like to reiterate that the one-China principle is the political foundation of China-US relations, and if this foundation is compromised, the sound and steady development of the bilateral relationship will be out of the question.”
Global Times, China’s unofficial mouthpiece has advised the Chinese government to be prepared to seize Taiwan, which Beijing considers a renegade state, by force before the new US administration “activates the Taiwan card” to dictate terms in mutual relations.
It suggests: If the Chinese mainland won't pile on more pressure over realising reunification by using force, the chance of peaceful unification will only slip away. Independent forces on the island publicly believe that time is on their side because Taiwan people's recognition of their Chinese identity is gradually decreasing and against such a backdrop, they can turn the tables with the help of international forces.
On the other hand, Taiwan has reiterated its affection regarding the US but at the same time said that a mere phone call is not the denting to the One China Policy.
It is interesting to see if Trump uses Taiwan as a political tool in the mind game to depress the China or is it really a start of the process of the Taiwan detaching from the Mainland China which remains a dream of the people residing on “Ilha Formosa” waiting for a dawn for their nationhood.