Donald Trump caused a disturbance in the carefully orchestrated diplomatic ties between the United States and China on Friday, after it was revealed that he took a phone call from Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen.
America has no direct diplomatic ties with Taiwan since 1979, and an official overture to the nation upset China, arguably the biggest trading partner of the United States. The Chinese reportedly called the Obama administration to explain Trump’s breach of diplomacy.
But it is possible that more corruption and the profit motive led Trump to interact with Taiwan.
The Taiwan News reported that Trump’s company was sniffing around Taiwan’s Taoyuan City in September, and according to Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan, were considering building luxury hotels and resorts there.
Per Taiwan News: “A woman working for the Trump Organization came to Taoyuan in September, declaring the company’s investment interest in Taiwan’s Taoyuan Aerotropolis, a large urban planning development project surrounding the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.“
The outlet also said that Eric Trump, Trump’s son, is considering visiting Taiwan to look business opportunities for the company.
Trump has refused to divest himself of his companies, or to set up a blind trust that would erect a wall od separation between his presidency and his personal fortune.
Instead, Trump has announced plans to leave his children – Eric, Donald Jr., and Ivanka – in control, while they also serve as advisers to his transition, and possibly his presidency.
Ethics experts say the arrangement is perfectly set up to foster corruption and cronyism, in which Trump could use the presidency to steer funds towards his personal business.
Did Trump have a possible Trump Organization investment in Taiwan in mind when he was breaching U.S. diplomatic protocol? His track record of intermingling his business with the personal says it is highly likely this was the case.