Donald Trump took a congratulatory phone call from Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen on Friday, and already, it’s causing all kinds of international interest. Mostly because Trump broke with nearly four decades of presidential protocol that doesn’t acknowledge any diplomatic relations with Taiwan.
China treats Taiwan as a renegade province—but still a part of China itself—and the U.S. since 1979 has agreed with that notion in its “One China” policy. But Trump’s decision to take a phone call Friday has led to plenty of global unrest in the hours since he did it.
Facing mounting unrest, Trump, naturally, took to Twitter to explain himself.
The President of Taiwan CALLED ME today to wish me congratulations on winning the Presidency. Thank you!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 3, 2016
Interesting how the U.S. sells Taiwan billions of dollars of military equipment but I should not accept a congratulatory call.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 3, 2016
Other reports, though, have concluded that Trump’s staff was who facilitated the 10-minute call. Almost immediately, China—which has been accused by Trump of starting the so-called global warming hoax—called the White House to complain.
“The ‘One China’ policy is the cornerstone of a healthy China-U.S. relationship. I hope this political foundation won’t be disrupted or damaged,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said, via CNN.
Last month, China threatened that iPhone and American car sales would plummet if Trump attempted to start a trade war.
There’s also this, though: According to the Shanghaiist, the mayor of Taoyuan, a city in the northwest of Taiwan, said Trump is considering building luxury hotels and resorts there.
As for what Trump might do next …
We know that Trump only knows one way to respond to his own mistakes, doubling down. Wonder what that'll mean for China/Taiwan.— Jorge Guajardo (@jorge_guajardo) December 3, 2016