In a break with decadeslong diplomatic tradition, President-elect Donald Trump spoke directly with the president of Taiwan, a move that drew an irritated response from China on Saturday and looked set to cast uncertainty over U.S. policy toward Asia.The three-way dance between the United States, Taiwan and China has been going on for over 40 years. Leave it to Trump to tromp around like an elephant in a chicken factory.
It is perhaps unprecedented for a U.S. president or president-elect to speak directly with a leader of Taiwan.
The Chinese are, for the moment, willing to cut Trump some slack on this; they're blaming Taiwan for it. But they certainly know that Trump could have refused to have taken the call. Which is something that anyone who had more than a Twitter-based knowledge level of Sino-American relations would have known not to have done.
However, the Trump people said that Trump was aware of the diplomatic niceties involved, that the call was planned, and he took it anyway. Which the Chinese government will surely take note of.
No surprise, there's some grifting going on: