Calls to World Leaders Cause Diplomatic Distress

Trump Stuns Diplomats — First to Communicate with Taiwan Since ’79

During the first few days of December 2016, sexual molester and president elect Donald J. Trump further shook international relations by a series of phone calls with world leaders, outside of normal diplomatic channels. Trump shocked State Department officials, diplomats, and leaders around the globe by casting aside well established norms of diplomacy.

Donald J. Trump
Photo by Gage Skidmore

The latest of these upsets came when Trump talked with the president of Taiwan.  He is the first US president or president-elect to communicate with Taiwan’s leader since the US DECLINED TO RECOGNIZE TAIWAN IN 1979.  Trump then evidently lied about the contact on Twitter.  In an apparent attempt to intentionally misrepresent the facts surrounding the communication, he tweeted, “The President of Taiwan CALLED ME today to wish me congratulations on winning the Presidency. Thank you!”

It has now been revealed in a story by the Washington Post that in this break of protocol the phone conversation was prearranged months in advance, according to sources close to Trump and others.  The contact was intended to provoke the People’s Republic of China (PRC).  A top ranking Taiwanese official also told NBC news the call was per-arranged.  It’s anyone’s guess what Trump’s true diplomatic motives are, given his many conflicts of interest, such as the fact that his business has millions of dollars of debt to the Bank of China, which is essentially owned by the Chinese government.  PRC leadership have made it clear that they find the contact upsetting.  Beijing regards Trump’s contact with the “leader of the Taiwan region” (they don’t call him “President”) inappropriate given the view of Taiwan as a PRC territory, not a sovereign nation.

Trump’s Reckless Engagements Blow Away Diplomacy

Diplomats and government officials around the world are shocked, confused, infuriated, and frightened by the jaw-dropping reports of president-elect Trump’s phone conversations with world leaders recently.

The New York Times Company StoreIn addition to his contact with Taiwan, news broke this week that Trump endorsed the outrageous anti-drug  campaign of Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte.  Duterte’s human rights abuses include the execution of thousands without judicial process.  Of course, Trump loves the strongmen leaders like Duterete, Putin, and Kazakhstan president Nazarbayev, whom he praised for his “fantasitic success”.

Throughout his term, President Obama has declined to visit Pakistan, with whom strained relations are shared.  In a slap in the face to India, Trump called Pakistan “a terrific country” and was invited by Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to visit the country.  This contact was a serious breach of diplomacy likely to have lasting repercussions.  This further demonstrates Trump doesn’t understand the first thing about international diplomacy.  If he does not visit he’ll upset Pakistan.  If he does, he’ll infuriate India.  Well played dumb-ass.

On November 17th Trump met with the Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe.  For some inexplicable reason he invited his daughter Ivanka to the meeting.  Some suggest it was to woo the Prime Minister with a pretty girl.  Using his daughter for bait seems right up his ally, but who knows.  What is known is that Trump has talked out of both sides of his mouth, saying he’ll put his kids in charge of his businesses (instead of divestiture and a proper blind trust) while also seeking security clearances for them.  What the fuck?  The meeting with Japan’s prime minister horrified diplomats (not invited) in part because he had not been briefing and has a long history of criticizing the nation.

The State Department’s relationship with the UK and diplomatic protocol was brushed aside in November when Trump met with Nigel Farage.  Farage is a former leader of the righ wing crack-pot nationalist UK Independence Party.  He later said that this guy should become the British ambassador to the United States, something US presidents just don’t do.  In another UK related blunder, Mr. Grab-them-by-the-pussy casually told British Prime Minister Theresa May, “If you travel to the US you should let me know”.  What the hell is that?  This came after Trump had first reached out to at least nine other foreign leaders, which in itself is an insult to a nation with whom the US has a tight, long lasting relationship.