China doesn’t want President-elect Donald Trump accepting phone calls from Taiwan, but that’s just what Trump did when Taiwan’s president Tsai Ing-wen gave him a call to congratulate him on his win. Trump then tweeted about the call: “The President of Taiwan CALLED ME today to wish me congratulations on winning the Presidency. Thank you!”
China, through diplomatic and media outlets, is superficially blaming Taiwan and threatening the U.S. (with diplomatic and economic problems) for what it sees as a “mistake” by Trump, who, it stated, was the victim of a “little trick” by Taiwan in accepting the call.
China’s longstanding fear is a possible shift from the U.S. recognizing the Chinese government’s One China Policy — in which other countries recognize Beijing as speaking for Taiwan, Tibet, and other regions which do not want to be part of China. but are considered to be part.
China issued a diplomatic protest after the high-profile Trump-Tsai phone call. They stated that they hope Trump will uphold the U.S.’s acceptance of the One China Policy.
“This is just the Taiwan side engaging in a petty action, and cannot change the ‘one China’ structure already formed by the international community,” stated Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. “I believe that it won’t change the longstanding One China Policy of the United States government.”
Context: The current government of China is the result of the Chinese civil war that ended in 1949, when the previous government fled to Taiwan and Mao Zedong, leader of the violent revolution, proclaimed the People’s Republic of China. In 1950, their army forcefully took control of Tibet and captured Hainan. The power of the government was consolidated in large part by killing millions of Chinese. Then, when China industrialized, its population and economic power began to grow, although many more Chinese died of starvation. In 1971, the PRC replaced the former government at the United Nations.
In the late 70s changes in government and economic reforms made China more open and capitalistic, although it still retained the “communist” name. More recently, China’s influence in world matters has grown due to a sharp increase in economic power, which has been complicated by China’s terrible human rights record, continued mass intellectual property theft, and forceful and illegal claims over territory belonging to its neighbors in the Pacific Ocean.
Taiwan’s government said that the phone call was agreed to before making contact.
Barack Obama’s White House responded to the news by stating that they “remain firmly committed to our ‘One China Policy'” and that they cared most about “stable cross-Straight relations.” Trump has, however, been noted for breaking with many of the established policies of his more recent predecessors.