Of course both sides agreed ahead of time

The Washington Post hints that maybe possibly Trump was lying about how that phone call with Taiwan’s president happened and what was discussed when it did happen.

But a spokesman in the Taiwanese president’s office clarified to Reuters that the call was agreed to beforehand.

“Of course both sides agreed ahead of time before making contact,” spokesman Alex Huang said in response to Trump’s tweet.

Taiwan’s government also said the two sides discussed “strengthening bilateral relations” and talked about their “close economic, political and security ties” — all words likely to make China cringe and suggestive of a more in-depth conversation than just a congratulatory call.

“Cringe” is again a cautious way of putting it.

Trump senior adviser Kellyanne Conway and potential Trump foreign policy adviser Ric Grenell said Friday night that the flap was overblown.

“It was totally planned,” Grenell said. “It was a simple courtesy call. People need to calm down. The ‘One China’ policy wasn’t changed. Washington, D.C., types need to lighten up.”

Right. People who know something about foreign affairs and diplomacy and China and Taiwan – they all need to calm down and lighten up, and let the people who know nothing whatever about any of it just get on with trying to start a war between nuclear states.

But the situation raises real questions about who is advising Trump when it comes to diplomacy with Asia, as The Post’s Emily Rauhala writes. It also came just a day after the New York Times reported on building concerns about Trump’s handling of other calls with world leaders and his preparation level. And the stakes are considerably higher with China than with Mexico and many other countries.

His preparation level is zero. We know this. He’s much too busy taking victory laps and tweeting bullshit and trying to persuade the New York Times to be nice to him to do any pesky preparation.

Even if it wasn’t meant to be a big deal, it’s clearly become a big deal to China. China has now lodged an official complaint with the United States over the matter, though it appears to be giving Trump the benefit of the doubt and blaming Taiwan. China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, called it a “petty” move by Tsai. “The One China principle is the foundation for heathy development of Sino-U. S. relations,” Wang said. “We don’t wish for anything to obstruct or ruin this foundation.”

By “benefit of the doubt” I suppose Aaron Blake means “allowances because he’s such an imbecile.”

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