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Breaking: Trump Just Talked to President of Taiwan. U.S. Doesn’t Have Diplomatic Relations With Taiwan. This Is Bad.

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China ‘Will See This as a Highly Provocative Action, of Historic Proportions’

Donald Trump continues to make and receive calls from world leaders, many believe on unsecured telephone lines, but the president-elect just caused a major, indeed “historic” diplomatic crisis that may have long-lasting negative effects.

The U.S. Government severed official diplomatic relations with Taiwan in 1979, and technically no president, or president-elect, has spoken with their president since. 

Why?

China.

Taiwan is considered by China to be a part of China, and China considers communication with the head of state of Taiwan to be a “highly provocative” act against the Chinese government, as one expert notes.

The Financial Times’ Demetri Sevastopulo and Geoff Dyer broke the news, reporting that Trump’s phone call “on Friday with Tsai Ying-wen, the president of Taiwan … risks opening up a major diplomatic dispute with China before he has even been inaugurated.”

The reporters note that “the call is likely to infuriate Beijing which regards the island as a renegade province.” 

Here’s how one expert explained the problem to the FT:

“The Chinese leadership will see this as a highly provocative action, of historic proportions,” said Evan Medeiros, former Asia director at the White House national security council. 

“Regardless if it was deliberate or accidental, this phone call will fundamentally change China’s perceptions of Trump’s strategic intentions for the negative. With this kind of move, Trump is setting a foundation of enduring mistrust and strategic competition for US-China relations.”

The U.S State Department is very clear on the matter.

“The 1979 U.S.-P.R.C. Joint Communique switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing,” a U.S. Dept. of State Fact Sheet explains. “In the Joint Communique, the United States recognized the Government of the People’s Republic of China as the sole legal government of China, acknowledging the Chinese position that there is but one China and Taiwan is part of China.”

UPDATE I: 5:21 PM EST –
U.S. Senator Chris Murphy, who sits on the Committee on Foreign Relations, says this is “how wars start”:

UPDATE II: 5:33 PM EST –
Trump basically just formally recognized Taiwan, as much as a president-elect can do:

A Trump transition press release sent to NCRM states: “President-elect Trump spoke with President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan, who offered her congratulations.  During the discussion, they noted the close economic, political, and security ties exists between Taiwan and the United States.  President-elect Trump also congratulated President Tsai on becoming President of Taiwan earlier this year.”

Congratulating Tsai on becoming president basically means Trump recognizes her position, and thus, that she is a head of state, violating the U.S. agreement with China.

UPDATE III: 6:02 PM EST –
James Fallows is a journalist and recognized expert on China. He was also President Jimmy Carter’s chief speechwriter. He just posted this series of tweets in response to the news:

UPDATE IV: 6:10 PM EST –
First Republican to sound the alarm, Ari Fleischer, President George W. Bush’s former Press Secretary:

 

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license

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News

Calls Grow for Expulsion of ‘Insurrectionist’ and ‘Enemy of Democracy’ Josh Hawley After He Roadblocks Biden DHS Pick

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‘On the Side of Terrorists and Insurrectionists’

Americans are once again ramping up calls for U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) to be expelled from the United States Senate after he announced he will block quick consideration of incoming President Joe Biden’s nominee to head the Dept. of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas.

Hawley was one of the leaders of the movement that led to the January 6 insurrection, during which 5 people died. An infamous image of him standing outside the U.S. Capitol that day with his fist raised in the air has circulated countless times on the internet. Many, including his state’s top newspaper, has said he has “blood on his hands” while calling for him to resign.

Homeland Security has not had a Senate-confirmed Secretary in nearly two years, since Kirstjen Nielsen tendered her resignation in April of 2019. The massive $52 billion agency created in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks is charged with fighting terrorism and homeland security threats, securing U.S. borders, securing cyberspace and critical infrastructure, preserving and upholding the nation’s prosperity and economic security, strengthening preparedness and resilience, according to its website.

On Tuesday Senator Hawley said Mayorkas, who is eminently qualified – including having served as Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security from 2013-2016 – had not “adequately explained how he will enforce federal law and secure the southern border.”

In response to Hawley’s actions today and seditious role in the attempted coup, Americans, including political experts, are demanding Hawley’s expulsion from the Senate.

Take a look:

 

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BYE

Trump to Say ‘The Movement We Started Is Only Just Beginning’ in Often False But Final Remarks as President

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President Donald Trump will deliver a final speech Tuesday afternoon, and is expected to tell America that “the movement we started is only just beginning.” He will release a video at 4 PM ET.

CNN’s Jim Acosta says in Trump’s remarks “he takes no responsibility for inciting that mob” that attacked the U.S. Capitol in an attempted coup on January 6.

“He does not accept that he lost the election to Joe Biden,” the CNN anchor adds, “which would undercut the lie that he told for weeks and weeks.”

It does not appear Trump will mention Joe Biden’s name, he continued, saying Trump appears to be “carrying on the sore-loserism” he has had since Election Day.  “This appears to be the bare minimum one would expect from an outgoing president.”

Trump, according to multiple reports, is also expected to say, “This week, we inaugurate a new Administration and pray for its success in keeping America safe and prosperous.”

He reportedly will also say:

“The greatest danger we face is a loss of confidence in ourselves – a loss of confidence in our national greatness.”

“America is not a timid nation of tame souls who need to be sheltered and protected from those with whom we disagree.”

“We restored American Strength at home—and American leadership abroad.”

“We built the greatest economy in the history of the world.”

“We revitalized our alliances and rallied the nations of the world to stand up to China like never before.”

Many of these excerpts are flat-out lies:

UPDATE –
Here’s the video:

This is a breaking news and developing story. 

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National Guard Members ‘Relieved of Duty’ Before Inauguration Over Vetting Concerns: Reports

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About a dozen members of the National Guard have been “relieved of duty” prior to Wednesday’s inauguration of Joe Biden, after vetting of the 25,000 troops deployed to Washington, D.C. began.

Different reasons for removal are being reported.

“The officials say some of this was based on routine background checks against criminal history database. Some was also based on concerns raised by fellow guard members about statements they heard. This was a matter of zero tolerance, these officials say,” , NBC News’ Pete Williams is reporting, according to NBC News colleague Geoff Bennett.

But earlier Tuesday ABC News and other outlets reported that several National Guard members had ties to extremist groups.

“Two Army National Guard members have been removed from the inauguration security mission after vetting found they had ties to far-right fringe groups,” ABC reported.

Meanwhile, the Associated Press reports 12 National Guard members were removed over ties to extremist groups.

“Twelve U.S. Army National Guard members have been removed from the presidential inauguration security mission after they were found to have ties with right-wing militia groups or posted extremist views online, according to two U.S. officials. There was no threat to President-elect Joe Biden, they said.”

On Monday Texas GOP Governor Greg Abbott expressed anger on news National Guard members were being vetted.

“This is the most offensive thing I’ve ever heard,” Gov. Abbott cried. “No one should ever question the loyalty or professionalism of the Texas National Guard.”

No state’s National Guard has been singled out or identified.

 

 

 

 

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