America has diplomatic relations with all Nations except four; these are Iran, North Korea, Bhutan and Taiwan. Iran because, well for the obvious reasons; the ‘Great Satan’ name-calling for one, the detention of the Embassy staff for another, the fact that Iran sponsors terror world-wide: those sorts of reasons. North Korea, because, well, you just cannot speak to, or indeed trust, nuclear-weaponed chrome-plated nutcases. Bhutan; well neither Nation can really be bothered. But the last, Taiwan: now there’s a special case if ever there was one.
Taiwan, or to give that splendidly-prosperous country its correct name; The Republic of China, is one of this world’s diplomatic anomalies. A vibrant, raucous Democracy, with a Parliament, votes, Opposition, free press; but it is literally ignored, in diplomacy terms, by almost every other nation on the planet. Ignored for one, and only one, reason. China. Communist China regards Taiwan as simply a part of China which, possibly because the island’s rulers are insane, have deluded themselves into the belief that they are not part of Mainland China. America does not recognise Taiwan, a truly democratic nation BECAUSE Big Brother China doesn’t like it, won’t engage with the ‘deluded rebels’ despite the huge amount of trade between the two nations; and ‘throws a hissy-fit’ every time anyone even mentions their small neighbour 140-odd miles away from the mainland.
So President-Elect Donald Trump, who has just broken four decades of diplomatic silence with a phone call to Taiwan’s President; is, even before he sets foot in the White House, showing that he takes instructions from no-one, especially a State Department whose only dictat is ‘Don’t rock the boat’!
Good on you, Donald. Next thing on your agenda? Set up a well-lit meeting with the Dalai Llama; the only man worth talking to in the whole of the Chinese hegemony.