A Trump Foreign Policy Thread

Because his foreign policy is shaping up to be very foreign indeed to most pundits. Let’s start with Taiwan, China and the “First Island Chain”


Also, trade policy overlaps with foreign policy to a great extent. So: A Trump trade policy thread

The point behind that phone call? Because it wasn’t reckless. It was pre-meditated.


[quote]Donald Trump’s protocol-breaking telephone call with Taiwan’s leader was an intentionally provocative move that establishes the incoming
president as a break with the past, according to interviews with people involved in the planning.[/quote]
There’s the point. One of them, anyway. Bubbette ran as the continuation of the status quo, and The Donald ran as… not the status quo.

The other point is psychological warfare against the Beijing regime. He’s pushing their buttons to make them look bad, limiting their options for excusing any belligerence. Now they’ll have to be on good behavior… or else say screw world opinion and go grab Taiwan without any excuses.

I imagine them saying this with a knowing smirk… If you object to the call, you’re forced to explain just what’s wrong with it… and that’s a discussion his critics don’t want to have. It’s technically a lie, but really he’s trolling people He does that a lot - in case you haven’t picked up on that.

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I just love the effect that this has had on lefty foreigners in Taiwan. The cognitive dissonance of “Taiwan good/China bad…but Trump” is delicious.

The WaPo is not what it was in the days of Woodward and Bernstein, but sometimes they manage to justify their existence…


Taiwan as a means of leverage. That’s a step up, I suppose.

I wonder if Trump will use Taiwan as leverage to get concessions out of China. Would a Trump administration recognize Taiwan as part of China in exchange for something from Beijing?

Trump doesn’t care about Taiwan…

I think most of the world doesn’t care about Taiwan.


Just reminding the world that Taiwan exists is helpful.

Most Taiwanese don’t care about Taiwan.

Exhibit A: massive levels of pollution, litter, ugly architecture, etc.
Exhibit B: death-spiral fertility rates.

On the latter, I occasionally ask Taiwanese if they love Taiwan. Reflexively, they answer that they do. At that point I ask them why they don’t have any kids. Unless they’re talking about the physical rock that is Taiwan, but then, see Exhibit A above…

It’s interesting that Taiwan houses are slum-ugly on the outside, but look reasonably nice on the inside. It’s a matter of priorities.

Taiwanese love Taiwan in their own way.

The HSR is beautiful, in a Disneyesque Future World way. Not sure about its economic viability, but the fact they built it expresses a kind of love.

By that standard, Amtrak’s Acela is an expression of collective self-loathing.

As for litter, the Taipei subway is clean enough.

I think you need to get outside Taipei City a bit more. The rest of the country is an eyesore.

Some tea leaves to read:

I think he’s putting the pressure on, effectively threatening to fire the UN. That recent Israel resolution was perhaps a virtue signal too far.

Facing reality, Mexico willing to renegotiate NAFTA. Nothing succeeds like success.


The Donald has a track record of negotiating favorable deals. The outgoing clown… not so much.

It’s all about the currency. But human rights may or may not come along for the ride.

What a difference an election makes:

This guy just keeps winning when people predict his failure. Is he a genius, or are the naysayers morons?

Do they have the same definition of “fair”?



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Fairness is defined by the stronger party. Which will probably be The Donald.