Trump Chats With Taiwan’s President, a First? Since Diplomatic Relations Cut in 1979. Uh-oh! #OneChina

Posted: 4:21  pm PT

 

Via history.state.gov:

During Jimmy Carter’s presidency, the most dramatic moment in Sino-American relations occurred on December 15, 1978, when, following months of secret negotiations, the United States and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) announced that they would recognize one another and establish official diplomatic relations. As part of the agreement, the United States recognized the Government of the People’s Republic of China as the sole legal government of China, and declared it would withdraw diplomatic recognition from Taiwan (also known as the Republic of China [ROC]).
[…]
A new era began with a rapprochement during Richard Nixon’s presidency. Nixon and his aide, Henry Kissinger, found ready partners in Mao Zedong, the Chairman of the Chinese Communist Party, and Zhou Enlai, the Chinese Premier, who also wanted to improve Sino-U.S. relations. Their efforts resulted in the Shanghai Communiqué, which laid the basis for future cooperation between the two countries even while acknowledging continuing disagreements on the subject of Taiwan. As part of this rapprochement, the two countries opened liaison offices in one another’s capitals in 1973, a time when Taiwan still had an Embassy in Washington. The liaison offices, which in many ways operated as de facto embassies, represented a significant concession by the People’s Republic of China, which opposed the acceptance of “two Chinas” because that implied both were legitimate governments.
[…]
PRC leaders repeatedly expressed displeasure with the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA), which became law on April 10, 1979. The TRA was influenced by Congressional supporters of Taiwan and stated that it is the policy of the United States “to provide Taiwan with arms of a defensive character; and to maintain the capacity of the United States to resist any resort to force or other forms of coercion that would jeopardize the security, or the social or economic system, of the people on Taiwan.” In his signing statement, Carter declared that he would use the discretion granted to him by Congress to interpret the TRA “in a manner consistent with our interest in the well-being of the people on Taiwan and with the understandings we reached on the normalization of relations with the People’s Republic of China.”
[…]
On January 1, 1979, the United States recognized the PRC and established diplomatic relations with it as the sole legitimate government of China. On the same day, the United States withdrew its recognition of, and terminated diplomatic relations with, the Republic of China as the government of China.  The U.S. embassy in Taipei was closed on February 28, 1979. The U.S. Liaison Office in Beijing was converted to an Embassy on March 1, 1979, and Leonard F. Woodcock, who had been head of the Liaison Office, was appointed Ambassador.

 

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Ex-Security Guard #AdamaBarrow Defeats Gambian Dictator #YahyaJammeh

Posted: 4:04  pm ET

 

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Trump-Sharif TelCon Jolts World, India Issues Deadpan Response

Posted: 3:30 am ET

 

President-elect Trump had a chat with Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif, see the read out below.  After Sharif’s invitation to visit Pakistan, Mr. Trump reportedly said he would love to come to Pakistan, “a fantastic country, fantastic place of fantastic people.” According to The Times of India,  the Indian Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup issued a deadpan response: “We look forward to the President-elect helping Pakistan address the most outstanding of its outstanding issues – terrorism.” 

The Trump Transition has released its own sober readout of the telephone conversation on November 30, but Pakistan’s version got all the eyeballs.

For comparison, click here for the WH readout of the phone call between President Obama and PM Sharif on November 21, 2014.  Click here for the readout of that same phone call from Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry.

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Trump Transition: Additional Agency Landing Team Members For @StateDept

Posted: 1:25 am ET

We are updating the list of the Trump Transition Landing Team for the State Department as four names have been added since we posted last.  The original post is appended after the update:

 

Robert Blau
Employer (current or most recent): U.S. Department of State (Retired)
Funding source: Volunteer | via greatagain.gov

Robert Blau is a retired Senior Foreign Service Officer. He previously served as Chargé d’Affaires ad interim (El Salvador) from January 2009 until September 2010.  It looks like he served with Ambassador Charles L. Glazer, previously named as member of the landing team.  Ambassador Glazer was appointed by President George W. Bush as US Ambassador to El Salvador from January 2007 until January 2009. We’ve tagged him under two posts in this blog, here and here.


Catharine O’Neill
Employer (current or most recent): U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee (Formerly)
Funding source: Volunteer | via greatagain.gov

eenews.net notes that Catharine O’Neill is “a recent college graduate, according to her LinkedIn profile. She graduated earlier this year from the University of Vermont with a bachelor’s degree in Latin American studies and political science. She interned for the summer on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.”


Andrew Peek
Employer (current or most recent): Claremont McKenna College
Funding source: Volunteer | via greatagain.gov

Peek was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Government at Claremont McKenna College (2015).  He is a former U.S. Army Intelligence officer and a fellow for Middle Eastern Affairs at AFPC according to this American Foreign Policy Council bio here.


Herman Pirchner
Employer (current or most recent): American Foreign Policy Council
Funding source: Volunteer | via greatagain.gov

Herman Pirchner, Jr. is the founding President of the American Foreign Policy Council (AFPC), a non-profit public policy organization headquartered in Washington, DC. He directed the national security team advising the 2012 Presidential campaign of Newt Gingrich. According to his bio, before founding AFPC, Mr. Pirchner served in the U.S. Senate as Director of Legislation for Senator Roger Jepsen (R-IA)  and Legislative Assistant to Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) current Chairman of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee.

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Originally posted: Nov 20, 4:55 pm ET
Updated Nov 21, 12:51 pm PT

We previously posted about transition names for the State Department (see @StateDept Transition Names: Jim Carafano, Kristie Kenney, Patrick Kennedy, Joseph MacManus). On November 18, President-elect Trump announced the first wave of agency landing teams for the Department of Defense, Department of State, National Security Council, and the Department of Justice. The following are the names for the State Department landing team:


Ambassador Jackie Wolcott – Former Ambassador/Special Representative

Employer (current or most recent): U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom
Funding source: Volunteer

According to state.gov, Ambassador Wolcott was previously appointed U.S. Ambassador to the UN Security Council. She also previously served as United States Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva and as Special Representative of the President of the United States for the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons from December 2003 through February of 2006.  She had been Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of International Organization Affairs (State/OI) from 2001 to 2003.  Ballotpedia says that she is a member of Donald Trump’s presidential transition team. Click here for her bio from the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom where she is commissioner.


Charles Glazer – Former US Ambassador to El Salvador

Employer (current or most recent): Fieldpoint Private
Funding source: Private

Ballotpedia notes that Glazer was previously George W. Bush’s ambassador to El Salvador and with fellow Connecticut delegate Kevin Moynihan served as state finance chairs for the Donald Trump campaign. Click here for his Wikipedia bio.

 

Christopher Burnham – Former A/S for Resource Management
Employer (current or most recent): Cambridge Global Capital, LLC
Funding source: Volunteer

He was originally appointed as Director of the Bureau of Finance and Management Policy and Chief Financial Officer  at the State Department in 2002. History.state.gov lists him as Assistant Secretary of State for Resource Management from 2002-2005. He was appointed UN Under-Secretary-General for Management in 2005 until his resignation in 2006.  According to Ballotpedia, Burnham is a member of Donald Trump’s presidential transition team.


Erin Walsh
Employer (current or most recent): Goldman Sachs (Retired)
Funding source: Volunteer

According to Ballotpedia, she is a member of Donald Trump’s presidential transition team. Her bio posted on theantiquitiescoalition.org notes that she served previously as Senior Advisor in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs at the State Department (State/NEA).


Ashley Bell
Employer (current or most recent): Republican National Committee
Funding source: Transition entity

He is the national director of African-American outreach for the Republican National Committee. He was previously elected as a Democrat in Georgia, holding the position of County Commissioner, but later switched to the Republican party in late 2010. Bell supported Sen. Paul for President abut later in the race switched his support to Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) according to NBCNews.  According to Ballotpedia, he is a member of Donald Trump’s presidential transition team.


Alexander Gray

Employer (current or most recent): Trump for America, Inc.
Funding source: Transition entity 

Gray is a Trump campaign adviser who formerly worked for Republican Congressman Randy Forbes (R-VA), Chairman of the House Armed Services Seapower & Projection Forces Subcommittee.  On the campaign website, he is also identified as a senior military advisor.

Additional name for the State Department landing team announced on November 21:

Steven Groves
Employer (current or most recent): The Heritage Foundation
Funding source: Private

Groves is the Bernard and Barbara Lomas senior research fellow in Heritage’s Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom. His Heritage bio notes that “Before joining Heritage in 2007, Groves was senior counsel to the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. He played a lead role in the subcommittee’s investigation of the U.N. “oil-for-food” scandal, the most extensive congressional probe ever conducted of the United Nations.”

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For Foreign Diplomats, Trump WashingtonDC Hotel Is the Place To Be

Posted: 12:25 am ET

 

For those interested in the subject of conflicts of interest and the presidency, here is a good read from the Congressional Research Service:

Does federal law require the President to relinquish control of his or her business interests? Federal regulation of financial conflicts of interest is aimed at preventing opportunities for officials to personally benefit from influence they may have in their official capacity. As a general rule, public officials in the executive branch are subject to criminal penalties if they personally and substantially participate in matters in which they (or their immediate families, business partners or associated organizations) hold financial interests. However, because of concerns regarding interference with the exercise of constitutional duties, Congress has not applied these restrictions to the President. Consequently, there is no current legal requirement that would compel the President to relinquish financial interests because of a conflict of interest.

Read more:

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Trump Transition: Agency Landing Team For @StateDept Includes Old Familiar Names

Posted: 4:55 pm ET
Updated 11/21, 12:51 pm PT

 

We previously posted about transition names for the State Department (see @StateDept Transition Names: Jim Carafano, Kristie Kenney, Patrick Kennedy, Joseph MacManus). On November 18, President-elect Trump announced the first wave of agency landing teams for the Department of Defense, Department of State, National Security Council, and the Department of Justice. The following are the names for the State Department landing team:

Ambassador Jackie Wolcott – Former Ambassador/Special Representative
Employer (current or most recent): U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom
Funding source: Volunteer
According to state.gov, Ambassador Wolcott was previously appointed U.S. Ambassador to the UN Security Council. She also previously served as United States Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva and as Special Representative of the President of the United States for the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons from December 2003 through February of 2006.  She had been Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of International Organization Affairs (State/OI) from 2001 to 2003.  Ballotpedia says that she is a member of Donald Trump’s presidential transition team. Click here for her bio from the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom where she is commissioner.

Charles Glazer – Former US Ambassador to El Salvador
Employer (current or most recent): Fieldpoint Private
Funding source: Private
Ballotpedia notes that Glazer was previously George W. Bush’s ambassador to El Salvador and with fellow Connecticut delegate Kevin Moynihan served as state finance chairs for the Donald Trump campaign. Click here for his Wikipedia bio.

Christopher Burnham – Former A/S for Resource Management
Employer (current or most recent): Cambridge Global Capital, LLC
Funding source: Volunteer
He was originally appointed as Director of the Bureau of Finance and Management Policy and Chief Financial Officer  at the State Department in 2002. History.state.gov lists him as Assistant Secretary of State for Resource Management from 2002-2005. He was appointed UN Under-Secretary-General for Management in 2005 until his resignation in 2006.  According to Ballotpedia, Burnham is a member of Donald Trump’s presidential transition team.

Erin Walsh
Employer (current or most recent): Goldman Sachs (Retired)
Funding source: Volunteer
According to Ballotpedia, she is a member of Donald Trump’s presidential transition team. Her bio posted on theantiquitiescoalition.org notes that she served previously as Senior Advisor in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs at the State Department (State/NEA).

Ashley Bell
Employer (current or most recent): Republican National Committee
Funding source: Transition entity
He is the national director of African-American outreach for the Republican National Committee. He was previously elected as a Democrat in Georgia, holding the position of County Commissioner, but later switched to the Republican party in late 2010. Bell supported Sen. Paul for President abut later in the race switched his support to Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) according to NBCNews.  According to Ballotpedia, he is a member of Donald Trump’s presidential transition team.

Alexander Gray
Employer (current or most recent): Trump for America, Inc.
Funding source: Transition entity 
Gray is a Trump campaign adviser who formerly worked for Republican Congressman Randy Forbes (R-VA), Chairman of the House Armed Services Seapower & Projection Forces Subcommittee.  On the campaign website, he is also identified as a senior military advisor.

Additional name for the State Department landing team announced on November 21:

Steven Groves
Employer (current or most recent): The Heritage Foundation
Funding source: Private
Groves is the Bernard and Barbara Lomas senior research fellow in Heritage’s Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom. His Heritage bio notes that “Before joining Heritage in 2007, Groves was senior counsel to the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. He played a lead role in the subcommittee’s investigation of the U.N. “oil-for-food” scandal, the most extensive congressional probe ever conducted of the United Nations.”

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On the Prospect of Mass Resignations: A Veteran FSO Cautions Against Rash Decisions

Posted: 12:49 pm ET

 

We asked yesterday if the prospect of mass resignations is a real thing (see Inauguration Day Countdown: Is the prospect of mass resignations a real thing?  A veteran FSO who we admire a great deal shared with us his thoughts on the issue of morale and the prospect of an exodus from the Foreign Service of officers unwilling or unable to reconcile with the thought of working in the DJT administration. We are sharing the following with his permission:

On the specific question of the prospect of mass resignations: I think a lot of it depends on where an officer is at in their career. Standing on principle costs more at some times of your life than at others. I can see the light at the end of my career; I have ever-hungrier mouths to feed; my career prospects outside of the FS are a relative mystery to me. I work in a career track that doesn’t often put me in a position of delivering demarches on policy approaches I find objectionable.

But I think it is possible we’ll see resignations among two groups: first, amongst officers who joined in the last five years. Many are already unhappy with the fact that promotions will be slow for some time, given the massive intake of officers in recent years. Working for a decade as a FS-03 in a John Bolton-run State Department (for example) isn’t going to improve their mood. They are young, bright, idealistic, and are unlikely to — in their view — sell out just for the pleasure of public service. The second group I suspect might see resignations are those eligible for retirement. If you are an FS-01 or SFS who has been tossing around the idea of moving on, it seems entirely plausible that the election results might push you over the edge, all other things being equal.

But I want to make something very clear: I’ve been around long enough to have served under several presidential administrations, and the talk of mass resignations percolates anytime we’ve got a nail-biter election result or a controversial new war. But I have to say what I am seeing in the aftermath of Election 2016 is qualitatively different.

Many FSOs disagreed vociferously with the Iraq War; at various times with our approach to the Israeli-Palestinian issue; with our massive HR commitment to PSP missions, just to name a few. A few people resigned from time to time. But never have I witnessed the visceral emotional response from as many FSOs to an event or policy as I have in the last two weeks. We’re a diverse workforce, and given the rhetoric of this campaign, many took the victory of a candidate who spouted misogynistic, racist, xenophobic, isolationist bombast at every turn very, very personally. It is no exaggeration to say this triggered an existential crisis for a fair number of officers without significant time invested in the FS and soul-searching about whether this really is the career for them. As a veteran, I viewed it as my responsibility to help contextualize current events, to urge my charges not to make rash decisions in the heat of the moment, to reconsider the oaths they had taken and their commitment to the nation and the American people, regardless of who sits in the White House.

January 20 is a long way off. I hope once colleagues have had the time to absorb and process November 8, they will return fully engaged and recommitted, because Lord knows we’re going to need their energy and expertise in the coming years.

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Some clips to read:

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Inauguration Day Countdown: Is the prospect of mass resignations a real thing?

Posted: 12:06 pm ET

Via Politico:

Foreign policy veterans may be in especially high demand at the State Department, where career foreign service officers have talked for months about whether they could serve under a President Donald Trump—a debate many considered academic but which now presents them with a grueling choice between their values and their country.

The prospect of mass resignations “is a real thing,” according to one career diplomat who has had several such conversations with State Department colleagues.

Eliot Cohen, an influential Republican who served as counsellor to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and who vehemently opposed Trump, urged longtime diplomatic and national security professionals not to quit in disgust.

“Career people, I think, have an obligation to serve faithfully, and not least to ensure that the principles and letter of our Constitutional system of government are respected,” Cohen said.

Via DPB:

QUESTION:  — I mean, do you expect an exodus from this building over the next few weeks?  I mean, there’s a lot of people that feel that Trump’s – that what he said he was going to do going forward doesn’t gel with how they believe.  So is there any evidence of it yet?  Have you got notices or do you expect —

MR TONER:  Sure.  Well, it’s a valid question.  I wouldn’t attempt to speak for my colleagues in the State Department.  I’m a career diplomat.  I’m a public servant.  And with that, frankly, comes an awareness that you’re there to serve the U.S. Government regardless of whether they – that’s a Republican or a Democratic administration.  Obviously, there are political appointees in the State Department, but I can tell you that what I’ve seen firsthand this morning is very serious professionalism and commitment, as I said, to making sure that this incoming administration, whether these people agree with their policies or not, are given every opportunity for a smooth transition and are as informed as possible before that transition takes place.
[…]
QUESTION:  — as has been mentioned here today, the president-elect differs so greatly on so many issues: Iran, trade, climate, Cuba, Syria, NATO alliances, nuclear proliferation – just basic tenets of the things that – and assumptions that this Administration has been working under.  What about – if you haven’t seen people saying, “I’m leaving today,” career diplomats, which is what I gather you’re saying, are you and is the Secretary worried about morale in these last days?  He – the first thing in his statement basically tells people, his staff, to continue focus moving ahead.  So given the disparity between the president-elect and this Administration, what do you see the morale here being in the coming days and weeks?

MR TONER:  Look, I think – again, it’s a fair question.  I think when you choose a path of public service, you do so with the recognition that – and again, I’m not speaking to the incoming administration or the present Administration – you have to compartmentalize your own political beliefs from your professional duties.  That is something that is incumbent on any public servant, whether it’s at the State Department or any other federal agency, or the military for that matter.  That’s what, frankly, provides continuity and institutional knowledge for our government.  So I wouldn’t predict any mass exodus, far from it.

I think that under Secretary Kerry and under President Obama and under Secretary Clinton as well, this State Department has achieved great things.  I think they’re focused on continuing to work on the priorities.  Some of the urgent ones, like getting a ceasefire or a cessation of hostilities in Syria that is attainable in two months, or next week, if we can get there through our multilateral efforts.  I don’t think any – there’s any kind of attitude that – of resignation or of – or any other attitude other than that, focused on the priorities of this Administration and ensuring that the new administration, incoming administration, has a smooth transition.

Video below, transcript of the DPB here: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2016/11/264198.htm.

We are aware that some  folks are considering whether to stay or to leave, below are some clips that might be helpful:

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69th Secretary of State Watch: Giuliani Gets Dinged, Bolton Writes an OpEd, Paul Spikes Transition Ball

Posted: 2:47 am ET

 

The other most mentioned name, John Bolton now calls for major NATO and UN reforms, and took to the pages of the NYPost to prescribe what Trump needs to do with Iran.

Meanwhile, Senator Rand Paul who sits in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) came out early and quickly to register disapproval over the potential nomination of John Bolton or Rudy Giuliani.

The Senate can approve or reject a nomination. A majority of Senators present and voting, a quorum being present, is required to approve a nomination. Read more here (PDF).

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@StateDept Transition Names: Jim Carafano, Kristie Kenney, Patrick Kennedy, Joseph MacManus

Posted: 1:58 am ET

Per State Department, three senior State Department career officials have been designated several months ago by Secretary Kerry to ensure a professional and orderly transfer of power at the State Department.  The three experienced senior career officials tasked to oversee that transition are Counselor Kristie Kenney and Under Secretary Patrick Kennedy, and they’re working closely with Executive Secretary Joseph MacManus.

On November 15, the State Department was asked if it is normal that at this stage the agency does not yet have any contact with the Trump transition team.  The State Department spox Elizabeth  Trudeau said that “It’s up to the president-elect and his team. We stand ready to welcome them, provide the briefing materials, the facilitation, as we look towards inauguration in January.”

The NYT published a list of the Trump Transition team and assignments. The list names Jim Carafano, the director of the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies and the deputy director of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies at The Heritage Foundation as the transition person for the State Department. Here he is talking about an August meeting with the president-elect.

Here is the transition list via the NYT, although given that it has apparently been re-shaped, the list might be OBE already:

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More transition news:

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