Trump calls Pakistan, Taiwan and other world leaders to chat

Question: is this a good thing or a bad thing?

Pro: Diplomacy is a stuffy business full of useless protocol, and better world relations would ensue if leaders could just meet on common ground and talk informally without diplomatic watchdogs around. Look how great it was when Reagan and Gorbachev got to know each other.

Con: Relationships among world leaders are like a carefully balanced house of cards and diplomacy is necessary to manage and control that balance. The practice of internatioinal diplomacy has been around for millenia, and there’s a good reason for that.

Trump Speaks With Taiwan’s Leader, an Affront to China

Trump’s Breezy Calls to World Leaders Leave Diplomats Aghast

As Politico noted:

Add also ‘Hitler was a swell guy’ Duterte from the Philippines reportedly being invited to the white house, yes that is after all the abuses of human rights by Duterte.

Yes, it is a bad thing, now you know why the White House is called the biggest bully pulpit. The problem, that I saw it coming*, is that Trump will use it to influence many Americans into supporting bad regimes or bad policies and it will encourage the company that he will keep.

  • I did recognize early that Trump’s love of torture and other authoritarian ways pointed to a return to one of the worst things when “America was Great”, that is, a return to the Big Stick way of foreign relations. (Lesson of the day: Both “Bully Pulpit” and “Big Stick” were lines/concepts made by Teddy Roosevelt.)

If the worst thing Trump does is passive-aggression towards China, I can live with that.

Could you expand on that a bit? And do you have any reason to believe that is the worst thing he will do (WRT China or anything else)?

He is just trying to arrange permits to build Trump hotels and casinos in those countries. It has nothing to do with running the US.


I still wonder if the defenders of Trump can see why the concept of “conflict of interest” does exist.

It is precisely because the personal business of a ruler does not only affect local issues, but international as well. If you are correct then Trump is still doing all for his own gain. He is showing what many did fear, he is not giving a hoot if national or international relations are damaged on the way to his further enrichment.

If Trump were interested in expanding his business he would not piss of China for the sake of Taiwan. The two are lightyears apart in terms of potential value.

Also after reading up on the whole China-Taiwan-US deal it seems like we would be better off if things were done this way instead of the delicate house of cards we’ve built for ourselves. Then again I don’t actually have to deal with the consequences with international politics sooo…

I agree. But it’s much more likely this represents a harbinger of foreign policy debacles to come.

I like how he casually told the British prime minister, “If you travel to the U.S., you should let me know”. As if she could make a casual, unofficial, last minute visit to the US. As opposed to a formal state visit planned over the course of months.

I dunno. It sounds like he has deals already in the works in Taiwan.

While the mainland certainly has plenty of luxury-seekers, it’s still not quite quite to be SEEN to be a luxury-seeker, whereas Taiwan has no such inhibitions.

Communication is always good.

When countries don’t communicate bad shit happens.

If I tell the leader of the neighboring country, “I want to kill everyone in your country and take your land” is that good communication?

It’s funny watching Trump supporters justify his incompetency.

My cautionary tale is frighteningly more possible with a dunce like Trump, many sources do mention that the Bush father administration did tell to the ambassador in Iraq what to do regarding Saddam’s complaints against Kuwait.

Because of the boneheaded move of not telling anywhere to Saddam that yes, we would liberate* Kuwait with all our might if you take over that nation. Saddam took the talk of “We have no opinion on your Arab - Arab conflicts, such as your dispute with Kuwait.” as a card with the permission to invade it.

Setting in motion wars that culminated in an even bigger mistake done by Bush the lesser.

As you can notice, there is no need to make deadly threats, Trump is willing to promise the moon to all and he will wonder why is it that a conflict is happening later when the factions realize that they were had.

  • Yeah I know, what liberation was there when the country did go back to the king?

Sometimes I get very irritated at microscopically nuanced diplomat-speak where each comma is nitpicked into oblivion. (Kind of like the SDMB.)

But I’m not sure the bull-in-a-China-shop (get it?) approach is the best alternative.

For Trump, China is he big bug-a-boo. Taking “our jobs” and buying
our monuments". This is Trump thumbing his nose at China. Keep in mind that it’s purely a game that we don’t “talk” to Taiwan even thought we have incredible economic ties and an explicit policy to back them up in the even of attack form the mainland. We talk but we don’t “talk”.

This is going to end well.

And if the rumors are true over a Trump branded hotel near the Taoyuan International Airport, then it’s beyond asinine. Again, if the rumors are true, I think we will have President Pence before the first year is up.

Sheesh, you know it’s bad when Sarah Palin is the responsible personin the room.

I think the real issue is that China’s “boundaries” are manipulative and a bluff that needs to be called. By saying that a mere phone call with Tsai is the sky falling, this is manipulation and setting a ridiculously sensitive line. Caving in on this issue would set the precedent for a lot more manipulation to come. Yes, I know, such manipulation has gone on for decades but time doesn’t make it any less so.

Not to mention them making up that Global Warming b.s. just to mess with us.

No fucking joke.
Besides China, what about personally calling Pakistan, and what about personally inviting the Philippine guy to the US? Is this a good direction to be going in?

Of course. Now you have information that you didn’t have before.