US President-elect Donald Trump’s phone conversation with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen was exaggerated in the media to take away attention from President Barack Obama’s “belligerence” against Beijing, says an analyst in Chicago.
Stephen Lendman, an author and radio host, said Trump’s call earlier this week did not breach Washington’s “one-China” policy, which was adopted in late 1970s.
The phone conversation angered the Chinese government, which views Taiwan as a breakaway province awaiting reunification.
The conversation was a first by a US president or president-elect since Washington cut ties with Taiwan in 1979 and committed to the “one-China” principle, which recognizes Taiwan as a part of China.
According to White House spokesman Josh Earnest, senior National Security Council officials have spoken twice with Chinese officials since the phone call, reassuring them about Washington’s commitment to “our longstanding China policy.”
Following the call, reports emerged that Tsai was going to make a short stop in New York City on her way to the South American countries of Guatemala and El Salvador early next month.
“China complained about this, America complained about this, the US media complained about it,” Lendman said. “But they didn’t say very much that America has sold billions of dollars of weapons to Taiwan.”
“When America got together with Dalai Lama, who is an enemy of China… supporting Dalai Lama on Tibetan issues, and China considers this a front to their sovereignty, no complaints about that in the US media,” he added.
In December of last year, Obama authorized a $1.8 billion arms sale to Taiwan, a move that was strongly condemned by China.
The US had said in the past that it would defend Taiwan in case of a possible military invasion by China.
The call between Trump and Tsai was most likely arranged by lobbyists who were looking to make some money, Lendman argued.
“I don’t think in any way it interfered with America’s one-China policy,” he continued. “I think China is more concerned about America’s belligerence.”
Lendman said the phone call was nothing compared to more important sources of tension between Washington and Beijing like America’s military buildup in the South China Sea and South Korea.
The analyst noted that it was the possibility of a military confrontation between China and the US that needed to be addressed more than anything else.