Sunday, January 8, 2017
Whether Donald Trump will meet Tsai had generated heated discussions. But the Trump team ruled out meeting Tsai this trip. Trump's team and Tsai did not use Tsai's trip as an opportunity to reinforce previous provocations triggered by the phone call between the two. It is hard to say if they are taking a step back. But the mainland does not fear their provocations. The mainland has seized the initiative. The US and Taiwan now should restrain, or be forced to restrain, themselves.
Tsai had a phone call with Trump, but soon Sao Tome and Principle broke ties with Taiwan. It is certain that more countries will do the same. The US passed bills that allow serving officers to visit Taiwan, while Chinese fighter jets patrolled around Taiwan and China's aircraft carrier passed the island. It is widely expected that the mainland will impose further military pressure. Tsai needs to face the consequences for every provocative step she takes.
Trump is yet to be inaugurated, and there is no need for Beijing to sacrifice bilateral ties for the sake of Taiwan. But in case he tears up the one-China policy after taking office, the mainland is fully prepared. Beijing would rather break ties with the US if necessary. We would like to see whether US voters will support their president to ruin Sino-US relations and destabilize the entire Asia-Pacific region.
Beijing does not need to feel grateful to Trump for not meeting Tsai. The one-China policy is the basic principle reiterated in the three Sino-US joint Communiqués. It is also the foundation of the profound bilateral relationship. Sticking to this principle is not a capricious request by China upon US presidents, but an obligation of US presidents to maintain China-US relations and respect the existing order of the Asia-Pacific. If Trump reneges on the one-China policy after taking office, the Chinese people will demand the government to take revenge. There is no room for bargaining.
The Trump-Tsai call indicates the eruption of the Taiwan independence tendency by Tsai authorities. The mainland should mobilize all possible measures to squeeze Taiwan's diplomacy as well as deal a heavy blow to Taiwan's economy. It should also impose military pressure on Taiwan and push it to the edge of being reunified by force, so as to effectively affect the approval rating of the Tsai administration.
We should take Tsai's denial of the 1992 Consensus as a turning point and end the disturbance of Taiwan independence on cross-Straits ties. The Democratic Progressive Party should be made to realize that if it continues to engage in Taiwan independence moves, the political costs will be more than it could bear.
By MICHAEL PAULSON and MICHAEL BARBARO
Hillary Clinton, who has kept a relatively low public profile since losing the presidential election two months ago, on Sunday showed up at the final performance of a revival of “The Color Purple” on Broadway.
Because the Sunday matinee was the last performance for this acclaimed production, which won last year’s Tony for best musical revival, there were other boldfaced names there as well, including Phylicia Rashad (the 2004 Tony winner for best actress in a play, “Raisin in the Sun”) and Debra Messing, who made her Broadway debut in 2014 in “Outside Mullingar.”
Public sightings of Mrs. Clinton in the weeks since the election have still been sufficiently rare that they create a stir on social media. Strangers seek photographs with her at stores and in the woods near her home in Chappaqua, N.Y. But Mrs. Clinton has indicated that she and her husband plan to attend the inauguration of Donald J. Trump as president on Jan. 20.
“The Color Purple” tells the searing story of a young black woman abused by her stepfather and her husband in rural Georgia in the early 20th century. The musical is an adaptation of a best-selling 1982 novel, by Alice Walker, which was awarded the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for fiction.
Steven Spielberg adapted the novel into a film in 1985, and Oprah Winfrey, who was featured in the film, went on to become an important champion, and co-producer, of the musical.
"When I talked to him about our intelligence agencies, what I've said to him is that there are going to be times where you've got raw intelligence that comes in and, in my experience over eight years, the intelligence community is pretty good about saying, 'Look, we can't say for certain what this means,' " Obama said in an interview with
George Stephanopoulos on ABC's This Week.
"But there are going to be times where the only way you can make a good decision is if you have confidence that the process is working," Obama said. "And the people that you put in charge are giving you their very best assessments."
Trump said Friday that he had a "constructive" meeting with intelligence officials, but still had questions about assertions that Russia hacked Democrats during last year's election in order to boost Trump's campaign and defeat
In a report released by the intelligence community Friday, U.S. officials said they "assess Russian President
Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the U.S. presidential election."
"I think that what is true is that the Russians intended to meddle and they meddled," Obama said on ABC.
He also warned against letting partisanship undermine faith in U.S. intelligence-gathering.
"One of the things I am concerned about is the degree to which we’ve seen a lot of commentary lately where there are Republicans or pundits or cable commentators who seem to have more confidence in Vladimir Putin than fellow Americans because those fellow Americans are Democrats," Obama said. "That cannot be."
Obama acknowledged that he underestimated Russia's hacking abilities.
"I don't think I underestimated (Vladimir Putin), but I think that I underestimated the degree to which, in this new information age, it is possible for misinformation, for cyber hacking and so forth, to have an impact on our open societies, our open systems, to insinuate themselves into our democratic practices in ways that I think are accelerating," he said.
Obama urged Trump and Congress to strengthen the nation's cybersecurity and prevent any more foreign interference in U.S. elections.
“I think it's important that Congress, on a bipartisan basis, work with the next administration, looking forward to make sure that this kind of (foreign) influence is minimized," the president said. "We have to remind ourselves we’re on the same team. Vladimir Putin’s not on our team."
Obama also said he has talked to Trump about Trump's fondness for using Twitter to communicate with the American people.
"I've said to him, and I think others have said to him, that the day that he is the president of the United States, there are world capitals and financial markets and people all around the world who take really seriously what he says, and in a way that's just not true before you're actually sworn in as president," Obama said.
Obama said he told Trump that running the country is much different than running a business.
"You can't manage it the way you would manage a family business," Obama said. "You have to have a strong team around you. You have to have respect for institutions and the process to make good decisions because you are inherently reliant on other folks."
The president said his private conversations with the incoming commander-in-chief have been "cordial" and that Trump has been open to his advice.
"The main thing that I've tried to transmit is that there's a difference between governing and campaigning, so that what he has to appreciate is as soon as you walk into this office after you've been sworn in, you're now in charge of the largest organization on Earth," Obama said.
Obama said he and Trump are opposite in many ways but that they have one big thing in common — confidence.
"It's probably a prerequisite for the job, or at least you have to have enough craziness to think that you can do the job," Obama said.
A senior Pakistani analyst believes that appointment of former Pak army chief General Raheel Sharif (retd) as Saudi led coalition chief is not appropriate.
In an interview with a foreign news agency, Lieutenant General Talat Masood (retd) said the whole coalition is controversial and heading an organization which does not have the full support of Muslim world is not a correct decision to be made.
Defence Minister Kh Muhammad Asif has confirmed the recent development that Gen Raheel was made the chief of Saudi led coalition.
Gen Talat Masood said that this coalition backs Saudi Arabia which is fighting war in Yemen and has its own interests. “There are many countries which are backing Saudi Arabia, but at the same time there are also countries which are opposing Saudi Arabia in Yemen,” he noted.
He said at the personal level, this appointment shows that Gen Raheel Sharif’s services during his three-year tenure as Pak army chief had been lauded and the Saudis appointed him on the basis of his performance, but the fact remains that this appointment has been done by the approval of Pakistani government, so there seems to be sort of approval of military engagement against Yemen by this coalition.
“One should be very careful while engaging in military operation in Yemen especially when there is no unanimity in the Muslim world specially regarding Yemen conflict,” said the analyst.
He was of the opinion that viewed the coalition cannot achieve its targets without key regional countries rather it could become a coalition against each other actually.