Tags: Trump | Taiwan | Phone Call | Planned

Wash Post: Trump's Taiwan Phone Call Was Planned for Months

Image: Wash Post: Trump's Taiwan Phone Call Was Planned for Months

(AP)

By    |   Monday, 05 Dec 2016 09:13 AM

President-elect Donald Trump's advisers planned the phone call with the leader of Taiwan for months, according to people involved in the planning, The Washington Post reports.

The phone call on Friday, the first between a U.S. president or president-elect and the leader of Taiwan, a self-governing island the U.S. broke diplomatic ties with in 1979, appears to show a tougher position Trump intends to take with China.

The president-elect and his team said the call was a routine message of congratulations from Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, according to The Post.

National Security official Stephen Yates, who served under former President George W. Bush, said Trump's staff put together a list of foreign leaders to contact and worked with Taiwan officials to make the call happen, The Post notes.

"Once the call was scheduled, I was told that there was a briefing for President-elect Trump. They knew that there would be reaction and potential blowback," Yates said.

Taiwan president spokesman Alex Huang said "both sides agreed ahead of time before making contact" and President Tsai's office said to have told Trump they hoped he would help the country participate more in international affairs.

"Of course all head-of-state calls are well planned," said Richard Grenell, a former State Department official, now an adviser on Trump's transition team, according to The Post.

Trump spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping about two weeks before the Taiwan call.

"There are a lot of things that previous Republican presidents, and Democratic presidents, would do that Donald Trump won't do," Grenell added. "He's a man that understands that typical Washington rules are not always best for our foreign policy."

According to the Post, Heritage Foundation Asian Studies Center director Walter Lohman said the call "was not an accident. Obviously, he made a conscious decision to have the call arranged. She called him, but there was an agreement for it."

"This has all the hallmarks of a prearranged phone call. It doesn't make sense that Tsai out of the blue would call Donald Trump," said Asia expert Gordon Change. "She is not known for taking big leaps into the unknown, and it would be politically embarrassing when it was learned that she called Trump and he would not take her call."

During his presidential campaign, Trump delivered harsh invective against China, accusing the country of "rape" against the U.S. by stealing trade secrets and manipulating currency.

China filed a protest about Trump's call, but blamed Taiwan for "engaging in a petty action," according to Reuters.

 

 

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President-elect Donald Trump's advisers planned the phone call with the leader of Taiwan for months, according to people involved in the planning, The Washington Post reports.
Trump, Taiwan, Phone Call, Planned
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2016-13-05
Monday, 05 Dec 2016 09:13 AM
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