The media and some political types have made a ruckus about Donald Trump having a phone call with President Tsai of Taiwan. It seems the Chinese have taken exception to this and it has become a “diplomatic incident” complete with a complaint filed with our embassy.
Politicians are concerned this may jeopardize relations with China. According to a Newsmax report, a top diplomat under George Bush lamented that this is further evidence of Trump’s “tendency to wing it.”
On the other hand, China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, downplayed the Trump-Tsai call as a “small action” that will not change the bedrock of the “One China” policy.
And the Minister is correct. This is not 1972, he knows China needs good relations with America as much or more than America needs good relations with China. China has always been beligerent toward Taiwan, for much the same reasons as the U.S. has had bad relations with Cuba. But does that matter in 2016? Does it make a difference in China’s global strategy to be the top economy in the world? Not so much.
So what really happened here?
Trump killed a sacred cow.
In fact, Trump has done both Taiwan and China a huge favor, because eventually China will have to admit that Taiwan is just not important anymore.
Trump just established that he was willing to back off of current concessions to the Chinese and make China earn them back again. Trump is in a position where he can reset negotiations with any party, throw anything into the mix (e.g. mixing relations with Taiwan with trade issues with China) and the small cute diplomatic “signals” and “messages” don’t matter so much, because Donald Trump is the big dog in the room.
Let’s put it another way. If you have three pissed off diplomats in a china shop and a bull walks in, what are you going to deal with first?
You get the picture.
And you have to understand – this is not an accident – this is a negotiating style that CEO’s use when they are in a position of power. I’ve seen it used many times. It makes people come to you and makes them deal with your issues first.
And of course, since the Obama administration has been so bad at negotiations, the media and political structure don’t realize what good negotiation looks like.
The reality is all through the election and continuing to the present, Donald Trump has been establishing negotiating positions. He takes a hard line, he moves the potential compromise line toward his side, and gives himself plenty of room to negotiate and get the better deal.
This is why I voted for him. This what Donald Trump does better than any candidatein the 2016 presidential elections.