Trump is playing the ‘Taiwan Card’ against China now
This morning, I mentioned that, right before the inauguration, US President Trump tried to use Taiwan for negotiating leverage against China. This proved a non-starter.
Trump using ‘Taiwan card’ to extract trade gains from China
Trump is now unchained from moderating influences. So, the ‘Taiwan Card’ is back on the table.
Reuters reported earlier tonight:
President Donald Trump on Friday signed legislation that encourages the United States to send senior officials to Taiwan to meet Taiwanese counterparts and vice versa, angering China, which views Taiwan as a wayward province….
The move adds to strains between the two countries over trade, as Trump has enacted tariffs and called for China to reduce its huge trade imbalance with the United States, even while Washington has leaned on Beijing to help resolve tensions with North Korea.
I believe that Trump has begun to take a more aggressive approach on a number of issues. He is now unencumbered by competing policy visions. Therefore, Trump is more likely to trust his instincts. Using Taiwan as a negotiating card against China is something he tried early on and backed down from. But, now he is prepared to try it again.
Europeans trying to prevent Iran deal collapse
Also note that there is movement on another front where Trump is likely to be more aggressive: Iran. Britain, France and Germany are proposing new sanctions against Iran in a bid to appease Trump. Reports are that Trump is preparing to leave the nuclear deal US President Obama signed in 2015 with Iran. And this is an effort by the Europeans to stop that from happening.
Trump is already moving forward quickly on two fronts mentioned this morning. Expect movement across a broad range of foreign policy and global economic policy issues.