US knows that Taiwan is too small a country to protest and would put up with such humiliation and this is what has been happening since 1979.
( December 6, 2016, Chennai, Sri Lanka Guardian) When U S President elect Donald Trump held telephone conversation with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, China immediately protested and conveyed it’s objection. Obviously, China has fears that Trump taking the initiative to talk to Taiwanese President may lead to USA recognizing Taiwan in a more positive way, than that have happened in the last few decades .
In 1979, US cut off diplomatic ties with Taiwan, while getting closer to China. U S took this unprincipled stand to appease China, keeping it’s business and trade opportunities in China in view.
When US decided to cut off diplomatic ties with Taiwan to placate China ,China virtually started taking USA for granted and assumed that US recognized Taiwan as part of China and this would be the fundamental principle of the US China relationship.
When Trump called the Taiwanese President, China has concluded that this act amount to violating such understanding between both the countries.
It remains to be seen as to how Trump would react to China’s protest . In all probability, Trump would have anticipated such reaction from China and perhaps, did not mind this.
China’s unreasonable stand :
In any case, the ground reality is that Taiwan and China remain as two separate countries and many countries have economic relationships with both Taiwan and China.
As a matter of fact, China itself has extensive trade relationships with Taiwan and many Taiwan based industries have invested in China. This , obviously, means that China recognizes Taiwan as sovereign country for all practical purposes.
In such circumstances, China objecting to the telephone conversation of Trump with Taiwan President should be rejected with contempt.
China’s over bearing attitude :
The world knows that the government of China is not a paragon of virtue.
There are many instances where China has conducted with over bearing attitude and aggressive postures with least consideration for fairness, particularly while dealing with it’s neighbouring countries.
Of course, the immediate example is China’s occupation of Tibetan territory forcefully , which has now persisted for over six decades. It has mercilessly suppressed freedom of speech in Tibet and have objected to any country receiving the Dalai Lama.
While China is still occupying considerable area of Indian territory after the China India war in 1962, China now claims that Arunachal Pradesh in India should be part of China. It has even gone to the extent of denying proper visa to any one from Arunachal Pradesh visiting China.
Pakistan gifted away part of Kashmir area to China, though India claims that it is a disputed territory and Pakistan gifting the area to China and China accepting is illegal and objectionable. China does not care about India’s objection.
There are so many examples of China’s aggressive postures, which include the dispute with neighbouring countries including Philippines over South China sea, it’s disputes with Japan regarding Senkaku island, its troubled relationship with Vietnam etc.
Considering China’s over bearing and aggressive attitude in relations to neighbours, China now objecting to Trump’s conversation with Taiwanese President is similar to the act of pot calling kettle black.
U S relation with China at the cost of Taiwan :
US has significant trade and business relationship with Taiwan, though US does not recognise Taiwan as a sovereign country.
US has sold arms and military equipment worth around 12 billion dollar to Taiwan during the last three decades and has vibrant import export trade and other type of relationship with Taiwan.
At the same time, U S has been walking extra mile during the last several years to keep China in good humour, considering the trade and business potentials.
In spite of the fact that the communist government in China is nearly a totalitarian regime with political rights denied to the people, USA which claims itself to be a champion of liberty and freedom ,has no hesitation in cementing relationship with China during the last four decades.
If China claims that Taiwan belongs to China , the fact is that Taiwan claims that China has forcefully annexed it’s territory and says that Taiwan has legitimacy to claim that entire China is it’s own. However, US ignored such claims of Taiwan and humiliated Taiwan by cutting off diplomatic ties even while continuing the trade relationships.
U S knows that Taiwan is too small a country to protest and would put up with such humiliation and this is what has been happening since 1979.
US is always known to throw its principles to dustbin with regard to it’s relations with other countries , when it’s economic and strategic interests are involved.
Refreshing approach of Trump :
President elect Trump’s initiative to speak to Taiwan President is in sharp contrast with the policy adopted by President Obama and other earlier Presidents.
It gives an indication that Trump would not go to any extent to appease China at any cost ,as the past Presidents have done.
This approach will certainly put China in it’s place and give hope to several neighbouring countries in Asia ,who fear China’s expansionist approach and over bearing attitude.
Mutual dependence :
It is a fact that billions of dollar of American investment and valuable technology inputs from USA have gone into China during the last few decades, which have considerably contributed to the industrial and economic growth of China.
Such investment have created a scenario where USA cannot allow any issues with China to go out of hand . At the same time, China also depends extensively on US market to export it’s products. If US would bloc the import from China, the harm to the interests of China would be very high.
The ground reality is that both these countries depend on each other to considerable extent.
When Trump spoke to Taiwanese President, he clearly knows that China’s options are also very limited. China simply cannot walk away from USA.
The shadow boxing between USA and China is likely to continue ,with Trump not relenting any time soon.