Pat Buchanan, writing in The American Conservative, tells readers that the fat is in the fire now.
According to the Washington Post, the phone call from Taiwan to Trump was no chance happening. It had been planned for weeks. And people in Trump’s inner circle are looking to closer ties to Taiwan and a tougher policy toward Beijing.
Well, the fat is in the fire now
Across Asia, every capital is waiting to see how Xi Jinping responds, for a matter of face would seem to be involved.
On the trade front, China is deeply vulnerable. U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods would cause a sudden massive loss of income to factories in China and a stampede out of the country.
On the other hand, without China using its economic leverage over North Korea, it is unlikely any sanctions the U.S. and its allies can impose will persuade Kim Jong Un to halt his nuclear-weapons program.
China can choke North Korea to death. But China can also step back and let Pyongyang become a nuclear-weapons state, though that could mean Seoul and Tokyo following suit, which would be intolerable to Beijing.
Before we go down this road, President-elect Trump and his foreign-policy team ought to think through just where it leads—and where it might end.