Saturday, December 03, 2016

Hustler With An Angle

It seems as if everyone inside the Beltway, and pundits and politicians beyond, are all atwitter over news that, as reported by The New York Times

President-elect Donald Trump spoke by telephone with Taiwan’s president on Friday, a striking break with nearly four decades of diplomatic practice that could precipitate a major rift with China even before Trump takes office.

Trump’s office said he spoke with the Taiwanese president, Tsai Ing-wen, “who offered her congratulations.” He is believed to be the first president or president-elect who has spoken to a Taiwanese leader since at least 1979, when the United States severed diplomatic ties with Taiwan as part of its recognition of the People’s Republic of China.

Tweeting "The President of Taiwan CALLED ME today to wish me congratulations on winning the Presidency. Thank you," a clever Donald Trump uncharacteristically avoided an outright lie. However, the Taipei Times maintained the call was "arranged by his Taiwan-friendly campaign staff after his aides briefed him on issues regarding Taiwan and the situation in the Taiwan Strait."

Count me as someone unconcerned about any damage this dust-up may do to U.S.A.-mainland China relations.  Everyone played his/her role. The Taiwanese government said its " its president also told Trump that in the future she hopes that on the question of international relations, the U.S. side can continue to help Taiwan have more chances to participate and make contributions."  Beijing labeled the move "petty" but said it would not intefere with acceptance of the "one China" policy and avoided criticizing the President-elect.

Neither the direct benefit or drawbacks from the call will probably be global-changing. However, we read two days earlier

Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan confirmed rumors that U.S. President-elect Donald Trump was considering building luxury hotels and resorts in Taiwan’s Taoyuan City, according to media reports Wednesday.

A woman working for the Trump Organization came to Taoyuan in September, declaring the company’s investment interest in Taiwan’s Taoyuan Aerotropolis, a large urban planning development project surrounding the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.   

However, given the megaproject plan is still under review, the meeting was merely a form of gesture, the mayor said, according to media reports. 

Don't look now, but a family member likely to receive security clearance will be doing some of the gesturing:

Reports also said the meeting suggested that Eric Trump, the son of the President-elect, will come to Taiwan personally to see about the potential business opportunity by the end of the year.

"Trump's call to Taiwan," David Frum tweets, "is exactly like Obama's to Iran, "if Obama had simultaneously lobbied the ayatollah to lease him a huge pistachio farm."

Less than two weeks after the election, Donald Trump and daughter Ivanka spoke by telephone to the President of Argentina. One day later, approval was announced by an Argentinian developer for the 35 floor, $100 million "Trump Offices Buenos Aires" to be owned by America's Populist.


In Argentina, in Formosa, and in many countries to come, the selling off of America proceeds, even before the transition has ended. Follow the money.

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