On Friday, Donald Trump became the first president-elect to speak to the leader of Taiwan since 1979. As the Financial Times notes, Trump’s call could anger the Communist Chinese regime in Beijing:
Donald Trump risks opening up a major diplomatic dispute with China before he has even been inaugurated after speaking on the phone on Friday with Tsai Ying-wen, the president of Taiwan.
The telephone call, confirmed by three people, is believed to be the first between a US president-elect and a leader of Taiwan since diplomatic relations between the two were cut in 1979…
The Chinese leadership will see this as a highly provocative action, of historic proportions, said Evan Medeiros, former Asia director at the White House national security council.
Regardless if it was deliberate or accidental, this phone call will fundamentally change China’s perceptions of Trump’s strategic intentions for the negative. With this kind of move, Trump is setting a foundation of enduring mistrust and strategic competition for US-China relations.