Two huge stories have dominated the media over the past week, and they’re that Trump took a congratulatory phone call from Taiwan’s leader and that he fired off some unfriendly Tweets directed against China. Both of these stories obviously intersect by telling the world a lot about what the future of American-Chinese relations might entail under the incoming Trump Administration, but we need to be careful not to let the MSM lead us astray with disinformation and negatively intentioned speculation. There’s nothing wrong with prognosticating about important topics such as how the US will behave towards China under Trump, but it’s another to outright lie and either directly say or misleadingly infer that Trump was the one who called Taiwan’s leader. He didn’t, he just accepted a phone call from her, though it was the first time since the US recognized the One China policy in 1979 that the President-elect himself did this instead of an aide. This doesn’t mean that Trump is departing from that policy, but just that he won’t shy away from playing the Taiwan card in reaching grander and more holistic deals with China in the future.
And herein lies the connection to the second China-related scandal, which were Trump’s tweets about how China manipulates its currency, heavily taxes American products coming into the country, and is building military structures in the South China Sea. Trump obviously wants to cut deals on all three of these main issues, and he’s spoken about them before on the campaign trail. The MSM, however, is trying to play this all off as though it’s a bunch of recurring gaffes and suggesting that Trump doesn’t have the temperament to be President. US-Chinese relations will definitely see some turbulence in the future as both sides try to reach deals with the other and understandably fall out at times when they don’t get what they want, but overall there probably won’t be any fundamental changes in the existing Obama-inherited relationship, both for better – in terms of existing trade arrangements – and worse – like American asymmetrical economic and South China Sea proxy aggression.
Trump’s not this inexperienced loose cannon that the MSM maliciously tries to paint him as, but he’s also not some global savior who will bring peace to the world like some misguided alternative media make him out to be. Trump always has been and always will be defined by two words – “America First”.
Andrew Korybko is the American political commentator currently working for the Sputnik agency.