Trump Right not to Bow Down to China

There once was a time when China was afraid of offending us, but liberal pundits, politicians, and those human equivalents of the dodo bird, career diplomats, are aghast that President-elect Donald Trump took a congratulatory phone call from the democratically elected president of Taiwan Tsai-Ing-wen. Trump acted to “buck diplomatic protocol”, the chattering class harrumphed, and offended China, whose leader, President Xi JinPing, President Obama bowed to in 2014 at the APEC Economic Leader’s meeting in China.

Trump’s hyperventilating critics forget that to accept a call from a foreign leader is not conducting foreign policy. President-elect Trump knows full well the President Obama will be both head of state and commander-in-chief for the next six weeks or so. He also knows that American foreign policy needs to be conducted in Washington, D.C., not Beijing. He knows that our ludicrous “one China” policy has not stopped China from becoming a strategic nuclear threat whose expansionist designs have caused Beijing to lay claim to Japanese islands in the East China Sea and to build its own islands in the South China Sea which China considers a Chinese lake. As Trump protested in a tweet,

We sell Taiwan billions of dollars in defensive weaponry and he can’t take a phone call? So we are arming one alleged part of China to defend itself against the rest of China? Hello?

Communist China’s designs on Taiwan are no different than Nazi Germany’s designs on the Sudetenland prior to World War II. China is rapidly building the naval, air, and missile forces needed to conquer Taiwan and eventually, challenge the U.S. for military, economic, and political domination of the Western Pacific. Why exactly do we have a foreign policy that treats Taiwan as the West treated Czechoslovakia in 1938? When China is ready to attack Taiwan, it will.

Former U.N. Ambassador and Secretary of State candidate John Bolton told Fox and Friends that Trump would be right if he decided to shake up the status quo and treat democratic Taiwan with respect and friendship:

Bolton responded to the news of a phone call between Trump and Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, which caused China to submit a complaint with the U.S. through its foreign ministry.

"Honestly, I think we should shake the relationship up. For the past several years China has made aggressive... belligerent claims in the South China Sea," he said on Fox & Friends.

Beijing views Taiwan as a rebel province of mainland China, and the United States has recognized China's claim since President Jimmy Carter officially acknowledged the "one China" policy in 1979.

Therefore, Trump's discussion with Tsai has been seen by some as a breach of protocol, but Bolton disagreed:

"Nobody in Beijing gets to dictate who we talk to. It's ridiculous to think that the phone call upsets decades of anything."

He noted Taiwan, with a population of 20 million, has a democratic government, a free press and a free-market economic system.

Taiwan, with Japan, and South Korea, constitute our first line of defense against Chinese expansionism. We have few true friends and allies, and few of those economically and politically free. Taiwan’s not the only land China covets. As Investor’s Business Daily has noted:

Beijing has long declared the South China Sea to be its territorial waters and has laid claim to two disputed chains: the Paracel Islands, about 200 miles from the coast of Vietnam, and the Spratly Islands in the southeastern part of the South China Sea. China's territorial ambitions include the Senkakus in the East China Sea, part of what Chinese military doctrine refers to as the "first island chain" that surrounds China.

In the South China Sea, as of February, according to Reuters, China had finished construction on no less than six different island reefs from which to project its power. Included in its military effort is the construction of a 3,000 meter (9,842 feet) long runway on the artificially expanded Fiery Cross Reef as a base for Chinese fighter aircraft.

China’s claim to the Senkaku Islands in the East China involve islands which are under Japanese administration and which Tokyo claims as Japanese territory. Beijing has established what it calls Air Defense Identification Zones in the East China Sea, one of which overlaps the Senkaku Islands. Beijing insists that aircraft flying through these zones file their flight plans in advance for the approval of Chinese authorities as part of its long-term plans to dominate the region. The Zones met only token resistance from the Obama administration: China also is laying claim to the Senkaku Islands in the East China which are under Japanese administration and which Tokyo claims as Japanese territory

The Air Defense Identification Zones are a clear threat to Japan. The Zones met only token resistance from the Obama administration.

China’s territorial claims threaten countries such as the Philippines and Malaysia as well as Japan. It also threatens war with the United States. China’s State Council, the Communist giant’s version of our cabinet, has issued a policy paper that declares Beijing is facing “a grave and complex array of security threats” that forces it to switch its strategy from defense to offense and that as a result China will increase its “open seas protection”. 

This means that China is not about to give up its territorial claim in the South and East China Seas, which include the Spratly, Paracel, and Senkaku Island chains but will protect them with aggressive force if necessary. China will also continue its building of artificial islands as bases from which to strike. This is a clear response to President Obama’s “Pacific pivot” and an indication of how little Beijing is impressed.

An editorial in the Global Times, a newspaper seen as a mouthpiece for hard-line nationalists in Beijing warns of the consequences of resistance warns, “If the United States’ bottom line is that China has to halt these activities, then a U.S. China war is inevitable in the South China Sea.”

We have a lot more to worry about than offending Beijing with a phone call. Trump has pledged to rebuild a military, particularly a navy, that has been allowed to atrophy. We will need it to counter a belligerent and expansionist China. Let China worry about offending us for a change. We need a foreign policy, backed by a military second to none that bows to no one.

Daniel John Sobieski is a free lance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.               

There once was a time when China was afraid of offending us, but liberal pundits, politicians, and those human equivalents of the dodo bird, career diplomats, are aghast that President-elect Donald Trump took a congratulatory phone call from the democratically elected president of Taiwan Tsai-Ing-wen. Trump acted to “buck diplomatic protocol”, the chattering class harrumphed, and offended China, whose leader, President Xi JinPing, President Obama bowed to in 2014 at the APEC Economic Leader’s meeting in China.

Trump’s hyperventilating critics forget that to accept a call from a foreign leader is not conducting foreign policy. President-elect Trump knows full well the President Obama will be both head of state and commander-in-chief for the next six weeks or so. He also knows that American foreign policy needs to be conducted in Washington, D.C., not Beijing. He knows that our ludicrous “one China” policy has not stopped China from becoming a strategic nuclear threat whose expansionist designs have caused Beijing to lay claim to Japanese islands in the East China Sea and to build its own islands in the South China Sea which China considers a Chinese lake. As Trump protested in a tweet,

We sell Taiwan billions of dollars in defensive weaponry and he can’t take a phone call? So we are arming one alleged part of China to defend itself against the rest of China? Hello?

Communist China’s designs on Taiwan are no different than Nazi Germany’s designs on the Sudetenland prior to World War II. China is rapidly building the naval, air, and missile forces needed to conquer Taiwan and eventually, challenge the U.S. for military, economic, and political domination of the Western Pacific. Why exactly do we have a foreign policy that treats Taiwan as the West treated Czechoslovakia in 1938? When China is ready to attack Taiwan, it will.

Former U.N. Ambassador and Secretary of State candidate John Bolton told Fox and Friends that Trump would be right if he decided to shake up the status quo and treat democratic Taiwan with respect and friendship:

Bolton responded to the news of a phone call between Trump and Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, which caused China to submit a complaint with the U.S. through its foreign ministry.

"Honestly, I think we should shake the relationship up. For the past several years China has made aggressive... belligerent claims in the South China Sea," he said on Fox & Friends.

Beijing views Taiwan as a rebel province of mainland China, and the United States has recognized China's claim since President Jimmy Carter officially acknowledged the "one China" policy in 1979.

Therefore, Trump's discussion with Tsai has been seen by some as a breach of protocol, but Bolton disagreed:

"Nobody in Beijing gets to dictate who we talk to. It's ridiculous to think that the phone call upsets decades of anything."

He noted Taiwan, with a population of 20 million, has a democratic government, a free press and a free-market economic system.

Taiwan, with Japan, and South Korea, constitute our first line of defense against Chinese expansionism. We have few true friends and allies, and few of those economically and politically free. Taiwan’s not the only land China covets. As Investor’s Business Daily has noted:

Beijing has long declared the South China Sea to be its territorial waters and has laid claim to two disputed chains: the Paracel Islands, about 200 miles from the coast of Vietnam, and the Spratly Islands in the southeastern part of the South China Sea. China's territorial ambitions include the Senkakus in the East China Sea, part of what Chinese military doctrine refers to as the "first island chain" that surrounds China.

In the South China Sea, as of February, according to Reuters, China had finished construction on no less than six different island reefs from which to project its power. Included in its military effort is the construction of a 3,000 meter (9,842 feet) long runway on the artificially expanded Fiery Cross Reef as a base for Chinese fighter aircraft.

China’s claim to the Senkaku Islands in the East China involve islands which are under Japanese administration and which Tokyo claims as Japanese territory. Beijing has established what it calls Air Defense Identification Zones in the East China Sea, one of which overlaps the Senkaku Islands. Beijing insists that aircraft flying through these zones file their flight plans in advance for the approval of Chinese authorities as part of its long-term plans to dominate the region. The Zones met only token resistance from the Obama administration: China also is laying claim to the Senkaku Islands in the East China which are under Japanese administration and which Tokyo claims as Japanese territory

The Air Defense Identification Zones are a clear threat to Japan. The Zones met only token resistance from the Obama administration.

China’s territorial claims threaten countries such as the Philippines and Malaysia as well as Japan. It also threatens war with the United States. China’s State Council, the Communist giant’s version of our cabinet, has issued a policy paper that declares Beijing is facing “a grave and complex array of security threats” that forces it to switch its strategy from defense to offense and that as a result China will increase its “open seas protection”. 

This means that China is not about to give up its territorial claim in the South and East China Seas, which include the Spratly, Paracel, and Senkaku Island chains but will protect them with aggressive force if necessary. China will also continue its building of artificial islands as bases from which to strike. This is a clear response to President Obama’s “Pacific pivot” and an indication of how little Beijing is impressed.

An editorial in the Global Times, a newspaper seen as a mouthpiece for hard-line nationalists in Beijing warns of the consequences of resistance warns, “If the United States’ bottom line is that China has to halt these activities, then a U.S. China war is inevitable in the South China Sea.”

We have a lot more to worry about than offending Beijing with a phone call. Trump has pledged to rebuild a military, particularly a navy, that has been allowed to atrophy. We will need it to counter a belligerent and expansionist China. Let China worry about offending us for a change. We need a foreign policy, backed by a military second to none that bows to no one.

Daniel John Sobieski is a free lance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.               

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