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6 years ago

Trump-Taiwan phone call controversy and Taiwan-China relations explained - TomoNews

TomoNews US
TomoNews US
WASHINGTON — U.S. President-elect Donald Trump took one phone call from Taiwan and everybody lost their minds.

But why?

The congratulatory phone call U.S. President-elect Donald Trump took from Taiwan last week was a surprise to politicians and press, as his staff to downplayed the political implications of the conversation.

The widespread reaction to the call has left many members of the public wondering why a conversation with Taiwan’s president would be so controversial.

Civil war in 1927 that involved Communist revolutionaries led by Mao Zedong, and the Nationalist government led to the Nationalists feat in 1949. They fled to Taiwan, where they kept control of their forces. Fighting ceased, with the two sides being ruled separately. However, both sides continued to claim authority over all of China.

China has maintained that Taiwan is a breakaway province and that the two sides will eventually unify. Meanwhile, the Taiwan-based government at the time declared mainland China was being controlled by illegitimate Communist rebels.

The Nationalists were originally recognized by the United States and its allies as China’s rightful rulers, with the government in Taiwan taking China’s seat in the United Nations. However, Beijing eventually took over Taiwan’s seat, and when the U.S. eventually switched recognition from Taiwan to Beijing in 1979, many other countries followed its lead.

Taiwan, now a democratic sovereignty, cannot reintegrate with China, as many of its people have said they will not surrender their freedoms. China has also threatened any declaration of independence with military force.

Although tension between the two sides continues, Taiwan and China have increased cooperation over the years in the forms of postal, trade and transportation links.

The U.S. passed a law requiring the government provide Taiwan with defensive weapons in case of potential aggression from China. However, to protect the status quo, the U.S. has at the same time maintained that its official policy does not support an independent Taiwan. To keep the peace, the U.S. has retained an ambiguous position of keeping close relations to Taiwan, while refusing to recognize its independence.

Trump’s phone call with Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen has sent a shockwave to China, as taking her call alongside other foreign leaders’ could be seen as a nod to Taiwan’s sovereign status. However, whether that one phone call signals an actual shift in U.S. policy regarding Taiwan remains to be seen.

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