DOING THAT VICTORY-LAP THING…
(along with a few job-saving grandstanding plays besides…)

President-elect Trump is definitely showing everyone that his will not be a conventional presidency.

For one thing he’s now doing that victory-lap thing by setting off on a “thank you tour” of the country( mainly to key electoral states like Ohio), along with a few job-saving grandstanding plays besides, just to show he’s…the real deal. All of which suggests that the next four years are likely to be anything but conventional.

Another indication that he’s more than likely to pursue a somewhat maverick style when it comes to matters of foreign affairs, as an example, are the one on one private meetings he has had so far with foreign dignitaries of one kind or another, including his recent direct phone chat with the President of Taiwan…in complete disregard for long standing diplomatic protocols against it in place since 1979. Something that must be giving the State Department’s professional denizens in their Foggy Bottom offices a massive case of… heartburn.

To what extent any of that might cause a similar condition in Beijing is hard to say. Other than a few pro forma growls and grumbles about it, we doubt it will be more than that because the reality is that Beijing and Taipei have had long standing economic back-channel exchanges for decades, despite their façade of implacable hostility toward each other. Those economic links are simply too important to be sacrificed for diplomatic posturing about who does or does not represent China in today’s world order.

Frankly, if both Beijing and Taipei had any pragmatic smarts, they’d both come out of that mutually occupied diplomatic closet with the following deal between them:

  1. Taipei, would renounce its claim to be “China” and declare itself to be The Republic of Taiwan instead.
  2. Beijing, would accept that declaration, and offer to sponsor Taiwan’s admission to the United Nations, as the newest member.

Such a denouement would finally remove a long irritating burr from under the respective saddles of Washington, Beijing, and Taipei, thus defusing the military tensions which have prevailed between them for so long. More importantly it would finally set aside all those complex residues of WWII which have so hampered open economic activity for everyone involved. Such an initiative by both Beijing and Taipei would yield great prestige and influence to both, as an example of how common sense pragmatism can overcome senseless rivalries.

Simply put, the beneficial impacts of such an event would be to not only re-ignite the global economic machinery in general, but the economies of East Asia in particular. Collaterally the Transpacific Trade Partnership would then have a much more viable basis. Once China and Taiwan established mutual diplomatic relationships this way, the rest of the world would stampede itself to join in just to enjoy the economic fallouts that would result from that.

Well, we don’t know if any of this was in Mr. Trump’s mind when he chose to personally chat with the President of Taiwan, but, if it was, we have to admit it could lay the foundation for a long and solid relationship between the US and China, ensuring real peace and stability for the Pacific region as a whole for a long time to come.

For those who still feel that such thinking is absolute blasphemy if not heresy, all we can say is…dudes…this is the 21st Century…time to move forward. Besides, when it comes to burying the hatchet…isn’t it better to do so into the ground…rather than in each other’s heads?

CENTURION