A Flash in the Pan, Or a Real Policy Change?

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local News

by Daniel Nardini

It has become big news; President-elect Donald Trump received a congratulations call from Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen and it seems that the whole world caved-in! The significance was not what was said but the call itself—no U.S. president has communicated with Taiwan since 1979. That Trump has done so, and has done so knowing full well that it would anger China is no small thing. But the major question here is was this just something to tweak China nose, or is it a move towards a new relationship and commitment to Taiwan?

Personally, I would be more than happy if President Trump does make a move to not only upgrade relations with Taiwan but also even diplomatically recognize the island. In my view it is a move that is LONG overdue. Taiwan is a democracy. It has political parties and individuals elected by popular vote. It has freedom of the press, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, the right to peaceful assembly, and the right to form or belong to any political party one so chooses. This is not the case with China, and worse the Chinese government has been making very threatening moves into the south and east China seas. It is not only time to recognize Taiwan again, but to make it an official trade and military partner in America’s strategic interests.

The big question is whether Trump will do this? He has been known to do something at the spur of the moment. Will he follow through with any major shift in policy towards China and Taiwan? Will the U.S. Congress go along with it? Will the Republican Party go along with it? Will the Democratic Party work with him on these changes? Will America’s allies in East Asia want this major shift? There will be a lot of pressure on Trump to either keep the status quo, or to not significantly change our official non-existent relations with Taiwan. On this point, I hope that Trump will significantly change the relationship with Taiwan. I feel it is time that Taiwan has long since come of age, and that the Republic of China on Taiwan receive the official recognition it so deserves.

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