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Trump's 'simple courtesy call' with Tsai was right: ex-U.S. officials

ROC Central News Agency

2016/12/04 18:48:23

Washington, Dec. 4 (CNA) It was right for U.S. President-elect Donald Trump to take a congratulatory call on Friday from Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), another democratically elected leader - a simple courtesy and a fundamental part of real democracy, two former U.S. officials said on Sunday.

Trump was just doing what he said in the presidential campaign: being open to talking to foreign leaders who want good relations with the United States, Stephen Yates and Christian Whiton wrote in an article on the Fox News website.

Trump and Tsai briefly talked about economic, political and security-related ties between the two countries and Trump congratulated Tsai on her victory in elections earlier this year - a milestone because Tsai is the first woman leader in Asia who isn't the daughter or wife of a former leader, Yates and Whiton said.

Tsai's victory also marked the third shift in power from one party to another in Taiwan - a symbol of a mature democracy and further proof that democracy can work in ethnic Chinese communities, they said in "Why Trump was right to talk with Taiwan's president."

Beijing and the Washington foreign policy establishment thought they could tell Trump whom he can and cannot speak with on the phone, but they were wrong, said Yates and Whiton.

Beijing is mad not only at Trump taking a call from Tsai, but also at the fact that he referred to Tsai as the "president of Taiwan" in a tweet, said Yates and Whiton.

However, the foreign policy establishment and some media were even more incensed than Beijing; and the fact that a simple courtesy call caused so much trepidation and genuflection to past protocol shows how absurd U.S-China policy has become, added Yates and Whiton.

Yates and Whiton said if a little courtesy call and a little truth about Taiwan really threatens peace in the Pacific as some experts contend, then Americans need to reevaluate their policy and come up with something better.

Trump, president-elect until January 20, has got off to a good start by ignoring the experts who have led Americans astray, they said.

Yates, a deputy national security advisor to former vice president Dick Cheney, plans to visit Taiwan next week and could meet with Tsai.

Yates, who is a member of Trump's transition team and worked as a missionary in Kaohsiung for two years in the late 1980s, was one of those responsible for including the "Six Assurances" given to Taiwan by former U.S. President Ronald Reagan in 1982 and the Taiwan Relations Act in the Republic Party's platform at its national convention in July.

(By Rita Cheng and Kuo Chung-han)
Enditem/AW /

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