Donald Trump speaks to Taiwan: Other questionable actions by the US president-elect

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte
Mr Nursultan Nazarbayev
Mr Nursultan Nazarbayev
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif
Ivanka
Ivanka

On Friday (Dec 2), US president-elect Donald Trump spoke with Taiwan's leader Tsai Ing-wen, shattering US diplomatic protocol. In 1979, the United States broke diplomatic ties with Taiwan and recognised Beijing's 'one-China' policy. He followed the conversation with a Twitter tirade against Beijing's policies. Here are other questionable actions by the incoming president of the United States:

DEC 2: INVITES DUTERTE TO VISIT THE UNITED STATES

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has been accused of gross human rights abuses, referred to US President Barack Obama as a "son of a bitch" and declared his country's "separation" from the US during a recent trip to Beijing. The Trump transition team has not confirmed the invitation. However, honouring Mr Duterte with a presidential invitation implies US approval of his behaviour.


NOV 30: PRAISES KAZAKHSTAN'S LEADER

Mr Trump praised Mr Nursultan Nazarbayev, President since 1991, in tones that suggest approval for his strongman rule. According to the Kazakh government's readout of the call, he stressed that under Mr Nazarbayev, Kazakhstan "had achieved fantastic success that can be called a miracle".


NOV 30: ACCEPTS SHARIF'S INVITATION TO VISIT PAKISTAN, "A TERRIFIC COUNTRY"

Should he follow through on Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's invitation, Mr Trump risks alienating India, which sees Pakistan as a major antagonist, and appearing to reward Pakistan's behaviour; should he renege, he risks upsetting Pakistani leaders. Either way, the call could upset the delicate balance of India-Pakistan ties.


NOV 17: GETS IVANKA TO JOIN MEETING

Rather than getting State Department officials to attend his meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Mr Trump invited his daughter Ivanka. This alarmed diplomats, who worried that it blurred the line between Mr Trump's businesses, which Ms Trump helps run, and the US government.

NYTIMES

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on December 04, 2016, with the headline 'Other questionable actions by Trump'. Print Edition | Subscribe