Trump spoke to the President of Taiwan and it set off a firestorm of criticism. A lot of people are worried about what effect this will have on US-China relations. I can only think it will work to an improvement. The best relations are maintained when both sides are firm and understand each others position.
First off, a little history lesson:
Over the past 121 years, mainland China has ruled Taiwan for a total of four (4) years. The Island was annexed by Japan after the Sino-Japanese War of 1895 and then stayed in Japanese hands until 1945. From 1945 to 1949, Taiwan was ruled from the mainland, but in 1949 the government of China was chased out and made itself a home in Taiwan. Officially, the government of Taiwan considers itself the legitimate government of all of China, while the Chinese government considers itself the rightful owner of Taiwan. Both positions are absurd. The writ of the People’s Republic of China has never run to Taiwan and the youngest Taiwanese who could possibly have been a part of a Chinese government would be about 90, now. About 87% of Taiwan’s population is native to Taiwan – wasn’t born in China, nor under the rule of the People’s Republic of China. While plenty of people in Taiwan still desire a theoretical reunification with China, no one wants to come under the rule of the current government in Beijing – and the younger generation is ever more Taiwanese. To say that Taiwan must be considered part of China is as silly as saying that Austria must be part of Germany, simply because for a brief while Germany ruled Austria and the people of Austria are ethnic Germans.
Also, China needs to know that for all their economic advancement and their desire for increased global power, the United States is still far ahead of China and that we much prefer the people of east Asia and the western Pacific rule their own destinies. Trump’s action will cause some shrieks from China’s leaders – but the bottom line is that it lets them know that the days of the United States playing the patsy to China are over. Trump did a good thing – an honest thing; the hypocrisy of our position vis a vis Taiwan has been a nauseating relic of the Cold War and it is past time it as done away with. If Taiwan ever freely decides to unite itself with China, all well and good – but unless and until such time, it is our duty as the premier free nation on Earth to ensure that the free people of Taiwan are not forced into Chinese servitude.