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Monday, December 19, 2016

Not Only China, But Russia And Iranians Will Test Trump In The First Few Months. Is He Up To It?


South China Sea photo
Photo by soham_pablo 
(The Hill) China’s seizure of a U.S. Navy underwater drone Thursday is likely a signal to President-elect Donald Trump that it won’t take his phone call with Taiwan lightly, an expert said on Friday.
“Knowing Chinese military officials for many years and how orders are communicated from the highest power centers in Beijing down to commanders on the ground or water, this was very likely a highly planned and escalatory move to show China will not take matters lightly when it comes to President-elect Trump’s phone call and comments on Taiwan, or Chinese actions overall,” said Harry Kazianis, director of defense studies at the Center for the National Interest.
Trump took a phone call from Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen congratulating him on his presidential win, breaking decades of diplomatic protocol. No U.S. president or president-elect had spoken with a leader of Taiwan since the U.S. normalized relations with China in 1979. China considers Taiwan a breakaway province, not a separate country.
Both Trump and Tsai have played down the significance of the call, but it triggered a formal complaint from China to the U.S.
Kazianis also said he expects China to “aggressively test” the Trump administration once it enters office in January, as it has done with previous administrations in the past