Monday, January 9, 2017

The Danger of Twitter Diplomacy

With Donald Trump's penchant for using the 140 characters of Twitter as one of his preferred methods of communicating with the world-at-large, a recent tweet has aroused the world's most populous nation, China.

Here is the tweet in question:

In the unlikely event that the tweet should happen to disappear, here is the text:

"China has been taking out massive amounts of money & wealth from the U.S. in totally one-sided trade, but won't help with North Korea. Nice!"

Here is the response from China entitled "Addiction to Twitter Diplomacy is Unwise) on January 3, 2017 as published in Xinhua, the official and most influential press agency of the People's Republic of China (please pardon Google's somewhat awkward translation to English) :

"Mr. Trump, the US presidential candidate who worked as a television presenter, has a good idea of using social media to spread his voice. In winning the general election interview, he made it clear that a major factor in winning is relying on social media. In twitter to send tweets, has become a habit of Mr. Trump.

Mr. Trump remained in the habit of being elected president. His designated White House press spokesman Sean Spicer said publicly that after Trump became president, will not stop in Twitter to continue to speak.

However, Mr. Trump recently released some tweets, but has aroused widespread political and political concerns in the United States. Not only by saying that the United Nations is a club for party fun, but also by making statements that are contrary to the foreign policy pursued by the United States for decades, including some negative remarks about China.

CNN criticized Trump's remarks on social media, "disrupting the relationship between US allies and rivals," and citing several "forms", including "misinformation", "sabotage bilateral relations "" Break the diplomatic rules "and so on. "Washington Post" even bluntly suggested - "Fengdiao Trump's Twitter account."

In a recent tweet, Trump hinted that he would modify the US nuclear policy. In this regard, not only the US diplomatic community eager, about to pay the White House master also sit still, and severely criticized this will bring "catastrophic" consequences.

According to Sean Spicer, Trump said the voice on Twitter can "get what he wants." This means that some hard-line remarks, touch some sensitive issues, may be able to increase negotiations with other countries of the chips.

However, it is recognized that a common sense is that diplomacy is not a trifling matter, but can not be done as a business to do. As former United States Secretary of State Albright said, Twitter should not be a tool for foreign policy.

As said, indulging in "Twitter special" undesirable." (my bold)

China and North Korea have a very close relationship.  China is North Korea's largest trading partner and is the rogue nation's largest suppler of energy, food and armaments.  The relationship between the two nations goes back to the Korean War when hundreds of thousands of Chinese troops crossed the border between the two nations after the United States-led United Nations forces pushed the North Korean forces all the way to the Chinese border as shown on this map:

This effort by China was sufficient to push back the United States-led forces south of the 38th parallel, leaving them with the current stalemate between the North and South as shown on these maps:

Despite the relationship between the two nations, following North Korea's testing of a nuclear weapon in 2006, the People's Republic of China did support UN Security Council Resolution 1718 which imposed sanctions on North Korea including a ban on the transfer and sale of missiles, combat aircraft, tanks and warships as well as prohibiting future nuclear tests or the launching of ballistic missiles.  As well, after North Korea's third nuclear test in February 2013, China implemented new trade sanctions and reduced energy exports to North Korea.  The United Nations Security Council of which China is one of five permanent members unanimously adopted Security Council Resolution 2270 on March 2, 2016 after North Korea conducted its fourth nuclear test in January and a ballistic missile launch in February and imposed new financial sanctions on the banking activities of North Korean entities.  It also imposed a travel ban and asset freeze on 16 additional North Korean individuals.

Given the fact that China has agreed to all five of the United Nations Security Council Resolutions that have the goal of punishing North Korea for its moves toward a nuclear weapon future, it's rather unclear what additional steps Mr. Trump expects the People's Republic to take, given the history of the two nations, particularly their close relationship against a mutual enemy, the United States, during the Korean War.

Apparently, some international diplomacy will require more that 140 characters to solve.

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