Person of the year has “the pique of an American Kim Jong Un”

Unsurprisingly Time has named Donald Trump as their ‘Person of the Year’. Trump has dominated politics in the US and has piqued substantial interest around the world.

But after upsetting China over contact with Taiwan and then reacting to raised Chines eyebrows with a Twitter storm Trump has been described  as “thin-skinned and reacts to criticism with the pique of an American Kim Jong Un”.

The world is watching with anticipation and quite a bit of trepidation.

David Ignatius writes Trump flunks his first foreign policy test.

Devising a wise strategy for challenging China’s ascendancy in Asia is arguably the top foreign policy task for a new president. But if Trump planned to take a tougher stance, this was a haphazard way to do it. The president-elect instead stumbled into a pre-inaugural foreign flap, insulting Beijing and causing it to lose face.

Worse, Trump’s fulminations about China come just as his plan to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership is undermining the United States’ standing with allies in Asia. Trump, in effect, is ceding economic ground to China at the very moment he claims to be taking a harder line.

Trump’s phone call Friday with Taiwan’s president needn’t have created this crisis. The Chinese at first seemed willing to give the inexperienced Trump a pass — blaming the precedent-altering call on “petty” maneuvering by Taipei. Beijing presumably recognized that this wasn’t the time to pick a fight, and Trump should have adopted the same stance.

But Trump, evidently feeling cornered, doubled down. He unleashed a Twitter storm about China’s currency manipulation (a largely bogus charge he repeated through the campaign) and its aggressive actions in the South China Sea (a real problem requiring strong, steady U.S. leadership). An embarrassed China is sure to take countermeasures, which will further confound U.S. policy.

The episode reinforced two points about Trump: He loves to be flattered by calls from foreign leaders (including “presidents” of countries the United States doesn’t recognize). And he’s thin-skinned and reacts to criticism with the pique of an American Kim Jong Un.

Perhaps Trump and his advisers will learn from his mistakes.

Or perhaps he doesn’t care – or it could even be a deliberate strategy.

Superpower relations will be put to an unprecedented test over the next few years. It’s high risk – Trump’s approach could force positive changes, but he is more likely to increase tensions and is at serious risk of precipitating some major problems.

I hope like hell that things don’t go nuclear, but even if that is avoided a lot of damage can be done with ‘conventional’ weapons, and financial crashes.

Colin Craig comments criticised

At an event celebrating Taiwan’s anniversary tghere were representatives from political parties. Conservative Colin Craig has been criticised for his speech. Peter Dunne:

The comments were fanatical, inappropriate for the occasion, and simply appalling. The zeal with which they were delivered was also of concern.

Darien Fenton has posted criticallay on Red Alert:

But one person got it wrong. Colin Craig, Conservative Leader was also an invited guest.

He chose to use his speech to try to draw links between the Conservative party’s “family values” and Taiwan. For example,  (he said) Taiwan has lower divorce rates than New Zealand.  And then he launched into a political speech about the marriage equality bill.

Maybe he thought he was onto a vote winner. But he caused embarrassment to his hosts and other guests.

And he showed appalling judgement.

Fenton’s full post:

Respectful politics – time and place

Posted by  on October 6th, 2012

Last night I attended the 101st anniversary of the Republic of China (Taiwan) anniversary, along with other parliamentary colleagues, Rajen Prasad, Hon Peter Dunne and National MP Jami-lee Ross. Peter Goodfellow, National Party President was there, and Paul Hutchinson attended, but had to leave early.

This was one of those occasions when we were there as invited guests to help celebrate the community’s pride in their country’s history and their place in New Zealand. When MPs attend these kind of events, we are welcomed as an important part of the celebration. As guests, our job is to respond appropriately and join in with the spirit of the occasion.

Speakers from all sides of the political spectrum spoke respectfully. There were no party politics, just an acknowledgement of the friendship and links between our countries, the contribution of the Taiwanese community in New Zealand and the celebration of their 101st special birthday.

But one person got it wrong. Colin Craig, Conservative Leader was also an invited guest.

He chose to use his speech to try to draw links between the Conservative party’s “family values” and Taiwan. For example,  (he said)  Taiwan has lower divorce rates than New Zealand.  And then he launched into a political speech about the marriage equality bill.

Maybe he thought he was onto a vote winner. But he caused embarrassment to his hosts and other guests.

And he showed appalling judgement.