Posts Tagged ‘Twitter’

China tightens Great Firewall by declaring unauthorised VPN services illegal

January 23, 2017

By Josh Yi
South China Morning Post
January 23, 2017

Beijing has launched a 14-month nationwide campaign to crack down on unauthorised internet connections, including virtual private networks (VPN) services – a technology that allows users to bypass the country’s infamous Great Firewall.

A notice released by China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology on Sunday said that all special cable and VPN services on the mainland needed to obtain prior government approval – a move making most VPN service providers in the country of 730 million internet users illegal.

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The “clean up” of the nation’s internet connections would start immediately and run until March 31, 2018, the notice said.

“China’s internet connection service market … has signs of disordered development that requires urgent regulation and governance,” the ministry said.

The crackdown on unregulated internet connections aimed to “strengthen cyberspace information security management”, it said.

China blocked access to 135 out of 1,000 sites in one ranking of the world’s top websites, including Google, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, according to, an organisation that monitors mainland online censorship.

As a result, many internet users in China rely on VPN services to access blocked sites and services.

However, a cat-and-mouse game has been going on for years between the Chinese authorities and VPN service providers.

The last major crackdown on VPN was in March 2016 during the National People’s Congress meeting in Beijing. Many companies complained that their paid-for VPN services were not functioning for up to a week.

Beijing’s censorship of online information and its control of internet access would be particularly vigilant in 2017 for the once-in-a-decade power reshuffle party congress, analysts said.

In addition to the information technology industry, which regulates the internet’s infrastructure, the Cyberspace Administration of China, a dedicated central internet censorship office, pledged loyalty to the Communist Party leadership headed by President Xi Jinping on January 5.

The officials issued a statement which declared one of their priorities in 2017 would be to cultivate an online environment that was “conducive to a successful 19th party congress”.

Two days ago, two websites run by a liberal Chinese think tank, along with other 15 websites, were shut down as censorship tightens ahead of the Communist Party’s meeting.

Merkel Scours Trump Archive for Clues on How to Read New U.S. President

January 21, 2017

By Arne Delfs, Patrick Donahue, and Brian Parkin
Bloomberg News

January 21, 2017, 12:00 AM EST
  • Chancellor aims for early meeting with Trump in Washington
  • German leader to push back on Trump views on EU, NATO, trade
Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor, gestures while speaking in Cologne, Germany. Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been poring over old interviews and video of Donald Trump, seeking clues on how to influence the incoming U.S. president when they first meet, according to two people familiar with her preparations.

Merkel, the European leader who’s been most in Trump’s sights before his inauguration, was struck by the frenzied supporters at his post-election “Thank You” tour rallies and by an archived interview with Playboy magazine that quoted Trump as saying he’d only run for president if he saw the U.S. “continue to go down the tubes,” said the people, who asked not to be named discussing private conversations.

Merkel is trying to take the new president’s measure while gearing up her own campaign for a fourth term in Germany’s fall election, where she’s already using Trump as a foil. The chancellery in Berlin has reached out to Trump’s transition team to suggest an early meeting, which would give Merkel a chance to get Trump’s ear and counter his dismissive views on the European Union, NATO and free trade, according to another government official.

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Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the German foreign minister, said Mr Trump’s remarks had caused “confusion and anxiety” both in Nato and in the EU.

“The chancellor is in a very good position to focus and positively influence the image of Germany and Europe with the incoming U.S. president,” Juergen Hardt, a senior lawmaker for Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, said in an interview. “Her experience and mastery of the issues will stand her in good stead.”

Merkel Method

Merkel’s methodical, coalition-building approach — she’s a physicist by training — contrasts with Trump’s Twitter diplomacy and has helped keep her at the helm of Europe’s biggest economy for 11 years. No date has been set for her first meeting with Trump, German government spokesman Steffen Seibert told reporters Friday.

Some of Merkel’s red lines are already becoming clear, including any attempt by Trump to undermine the EU at a time when the 27-nation bloc is losing the U.K. and under threat from nationalist parties.

Merkel’s message to the Trump administration will have to be that the EU is “strategic interest for Germany” and U.S. efforts to weaken it would mean “you’re treading on our lawn,” Thomas Bagger, head of policy planning at the German Foreign Ministry, said at an event in Berlin on Thursday. “I think that’s the only message he’ll get and the only message he’ll listen to.”

While Merkel was skipping televised coverage of Trump’s inaugural speech to attend a museum opening near Berlin, she will “study the speech with interest,” Seibert said. He declined to comment on the chancellor’s preparations for meeting Trump, saying only that cooperation with the administration “will start up in the days ahead.”

‘Hate Preacher’

Pressure on Merkel to forge a link increased as outgoing President Barack Obama praised her “strong, courageous and steady leadership” in a phone call on Thursday, his last with a foreign leader before leaving the White House. It’s a prelude to what’s likely to be a much more contentious relationship with Trump, who has called Merkel’s open borders for refugees a “very catastrophic mistake” and cast doubt on the value of North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the EU.Merkel dispatched her top foreign-policy adviser, Christoph Heusgen, to New York at the end of last year to test the waters with the incoming administration. Heusgen told a conference in Berlin on Wednesday that Germany will “do everything we can” to preserve the stability of the trans-Atlantic relationship, but also stand up for German interests.

If Trump doesn’t host Merkel at the White House first, the two leaders will probably meet at the Group of Seven summit in Italy in May or at a summit of Group of 20 leaders hosted by Merkel in Hamburg in July.

Beyond Merkel’s post-election offer of cooperation with Trump based on shared U.S.-German values of “democracy, freedom, respect for the rule of law and the dignity of humankind,” the chancellor has kept mum in public on her attitude toward Trump. That contrasts with her foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the next German president, who issued frequent and blunt criticism of Trump during the U.S. campaign, once calling him a “hate preacher.”


Families of Americans Killed By Islamic State in Paris, Brussels Suing Twitter

January 10, 2017
Jerusalem Post
10 JANUARY 2017 12:59

The lawsuit was filed in a federal New York court Sunday on behalf of the relatives of three US nationals who were killed by the terror group in Belgium and Paris.
Social Media

A 3D plastic representation of the Twitter and Youtube logo is seen in front of a displayed ISIS flag . (photo credit:REUTERS)

The families of American victims of Islamic State terrorist attacks in Europe have sued Twitter, charging that the social media giant allowed the terror group to proliferate online, according to Business Insider.

The lawsuit prepared by Israeli legal NGO Shurat HaDin was filed Sunday in a New York federal court on behalf of the relatives of three US nationals who were killed by ISIS in Belgium and Paris.

The lawsuit allegedly seeks monetary compensation “in amounts to be determined at trial” for the plaintiffs, who argue that Twitter “has violated, and is continuing to violate, the [US] Anti-Terrorism Act.”

The lawsuit was reportedly filed by the families of New York siblings Sascha and Alexander Pinczowski, who were killed in a metro bombing claimed by ISIS in Brussels last March, and of Nohemi Gonzalez – an American student killed by ISIS in Paris in the November 2015 attack that claimed the lives of at least 130 people.

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The text of the legal document charges that the social media company played “a uniquely essential role in the development of ISIS’s image, its success in recruiting members from around the world, and its ability to carry out attacks and intimidate its enemies.”

The legal document further accuses Twitter of “having knowingly provided material support and resources to ISIS.”

Business Insider reported that Twitter has not yet responded to a request for comment on the case.

In December, Twitter, along with social media giants Facebook and YouTube, announced that they were taking steps to combat the spread of online terrorist content.

According to the companies, they are working to create a shared industry database of “hashes,” unique digital “fingerprints,” for violent terrorist imagery, terrorist recruitment videos or images that have been removed from their services that they will then share with one another.

The move came after Israel and other countries complained that social media companies had not been doing enough to reduce the amount of terrorist-related content.

Gil Hoffman contributed to this report.

Chuck Schumer Sends Trump A Not-So-Veiled Threat The Intelligence Community Would Have to Carry Out (Illegally)

January 5, 2017
January 4, 2017
The Wildfire is an opinion platform and any opinions or information put forth by contributors are exclusive to them and do not represent the views of IJR.

During a New Year’s Eve Q&A with reporters, President-elect Donald Trump suggested that he would be meeting with intelligence officials early this week for a briefing on the alleged Russian cyber attack — which he continues to question.

Apparently, someone was confused. The meeting isn’t happening until Friday.

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As is his custom, Trump took to Twitter to voice his displeasure, selectively using quotation marks to make his point:

The “Intelligence” briefing on so-called “Russian hacking” was delayed until Friday, perhaps more time needed to build a case. Very strange!

During the New Year’s Eve chat, Trump shared his skepticism about the claim.

“I just want them to be sure, because it’s a pretty serious charge. […] I think it’s unfair if they don’t know, and I know a lot about hacking. And hacking is a very hard thing to prove.

So it could be somebody else. I also know things that other people don’t know, and so they cannot be sure of this situation.”

Enter, newly-crowned Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who promises to be a thorn in Trump’s side throughout his presidency.

During a Tuesday night interview with MNSBC’s Rachel Maddow (who else?), Schumer suggested that the intelligence community could “get back at” Trump for questioning the validity of their assessment against Vladimir Putin and the Russians.

As reported by The Daily Caller, Schumer gleefully told Maddow:

“Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday to get back at you. So, even for a practical, supposedly hard-nosed businessman, he is being really dumb to do this.”

When Maddow asked Schumer what he thought they might do to Trump, if they were so inclined, he responded: “I don’t know, but from what I am told, they are very upset with how he has treated them and talked about them.”

Schumer also slammed Trump and the Republicans over potential Supreme Court nominees during the interview, saying: “We are not going to make it easy on them to pick a Supreme Court Justice.”

As the late Yogi Berra used to say, déjà vu all over again?

So when Trump called Schumer “the Head Clown” he may have been responding to some provocation?

Looks very ugly.


Chuck Schumer: ‘America cannot afford a Twitter presidency’

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Capitol Hill Nov.
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Capitol Hill Nov. 29, 2016, in Washington. Schumer will vow to hold the Republican majority in Congress and President-elect Donald Trump “accountable” to the American people and the law in his first speech as Senate minority leader on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017, according to excerpts of his remarks. Photo Credit: AP

WASHINGTON — Sen. Chuck Schumer prodded President-elect Donald Trump and said Democrats will hold him and the Republican majority “accountable” to the American people and the law as the New Yorker made his first speech Tuesday as Senate minority leader.

“With all due respect, America cannot afford a Twitter presidency,” Schumer said as he warned Trump about using social media to make policy. “These issues are complex and demand both careful consideration and action. We cannot tweet them away.”

Schumer also criticized Trump for calling Russian leader Vladimir Putin “very smart” for ignoring American sanctions, saying that “conducting foreign policy by tweet while spurning vital intelligence briefings . . . should alarm Democrats and Republicans alike.”

In remarks made on the Senate floor, Schumer addressed Trump directly. Schumer appealed to him to keep promises he made to win working-class votes, warned him about coarse, divisive language and criticized him for taking a hard-right turn with his cabinet nominees.

Schumer, leader of the 48-member Democratic caucus, repeated his promise that Democrats would work with Republicans on issues of mutual interest but would fight them as they begin to roll back much of President Barack Obama’s legacy.

“It is not our job to be a rubber stamp. It’s our job to do what’s best for the American people, the middle class and those struggling to get there,” Schumer said.


“What we will always do is hold the president-elect and his Republican colleagues in Congress accountable,” Schumer said.

Armed with senatorial privilege, the need for unanimous consent to expedite proceedings and a filibuster requiring 60 votes to approve legislation and Supreme Court nominees, Schumer’s caucus represents the Democrats’ best and only brake on a unified Republican Congress and White House.

Republicans will win more often than not, Schumer acknowledged tacitly. “But we can raise our voices to present an alternative way forward and we can rally the American people to support those programs,” he said.

Reading from a prepared text, Schumer covered issues including jobs, trade and foreign policy. He said Democrats would hold Trump accountable for benchmarks, such as 5 percent to 6 percent economic growth and a lower unemployment rate.

But the Republican plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, and then postpone its replacement for years emerged as a flash point in Tuesday’s Senate speeches.

“The ACA extended health care to 30 million Americans. We ask the president-elect: If you repeal the ACA, what are you going to do to protect these 30 million people?” Schumer said.

“It is not acceptable to repeal the law, throw our health care system into chaos and then leave the hard work for another day,” he said.

Texas Sen. John Cornyn, the No. 2 Senate Republican, confirmed as soon as Schumer sat down that “the first job the new Congress will have is to repeal Obamacare.”

Yet Cornyn also called Schumer “a worthy adversary when we see things differently, which we frequently do, and he is also someone who we can work with.”

Schumer told Trump that he would have a “failed presidency” if he turned over his administration to a cabinet that “is stacked with billionaires, corporate executives, titans of Wall Street and those deeply embedded in Washington’s corridor of power.”

He added, “It seems that many of his campaign themes are being quickly abandoned. He said he was going to unrig the system. So far, it still looks rigged.”

Trump Threatens Toyota: “Build New Plant In The US Or Pay Big Border Tax”

January 5, 2017

Poor Mexico just can’t catch a break.

After its currency crashed to record lows this week after Ford cancelled plans to build a $1.6 billion plant in Mexico, prompting the central bank to intervene and sell $1 billion USD to stabilize the currency, moments ago Trump lobbed another shot at Mexico, this time threatening Toyota with paying a big border tax if it building its new pant in Baja instead of the US.

Just around 1:15pm Eastern, Trump tweeted: “Toyota Motor said will build a new plant in Baja, Mexico, to build Corolla cars for U.S. NO WAY! Build plant in U.S. or pay big border tax”

Toyota Motor said will build a new plant in Baja, Mexico, to build Corolla cars for U.S. NO WAY! Build plant in U.S. or pay big border tax.

Sure enough the selling in the Peso has resumed, and it is now back to where it was before Banxico wasted $1 billion in reserve to push it higher.


It’s not just the peso though: TOYOTA ADRS DROP TO SESSION LOW ON TRUMP TWEET.


Toyota President Strikes Friendly Tone on Trump

Akio Toyoda said a good relationship with president-elect was critical after an election in which Donald Trump singled out Japan as a fierce trade rival

Toyota Motor President Akio Toyoda said he would be watching Mr. Trump’s decisions related to issues such as Nafta.
Toyota Motor President Akio Toyoda said he would be watching Mr. Trump’s decisions related to issues such as Nafta. PHOTO: TOMOHIRO OHSUMI/BLOOMBERG NEWS

Toyota Motor President Akio Toyoda said maintaining a good relationship with Donald Trump is critical, displaying a willingness to work with the president-elect after he criticized U.S. auto makers for building cars in Mexico.

The comments are the latest sign Japanese leaders in business and government are acting pre-emptively to ease tension with the U.S. after an election in which Mr. Trump singled out Japan and China as fierce trade rivals. In November, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made a hastily arranged trip to New York to meet the president-elect.

For Toyota, the stakes are high. The U.S. is one of the company’s largest and most profitable markets. The Japanese auto maker plans to significantly boost is presence in Mexico at a time when Mr. Trump has targeted American car manufacturers for sending jobs overseas.

Toyota said just weeks before the U.S. presidential election that it would expand production at an existing Mexican plant and in November the company broke ground on a new $1 billion plant in Mexico.

Earlier this week, Mr. Trump criticized General Motors Co. for importing compact cars from lower-cost factories in Mexico to sell in the U.S. Following Mr. Trump’s comments on Twitter about GM Tuesday morning, Ford Motor Co. scrapped a plan to build a $1.6 billion small-car factory in Mexico.

At a New Year’s gathering Thursday, Mr. Toyoda said his company is aligned with the incoming administration in that it wants to be a good corporate citizen and grow employment in countries where it operates plants, including the U.S. “If you look over the long term, we are oriented in the same direction,” he told reporters.

Mr. Toyoda said he “would like to closely watch various decisions [Mr. Trump] makes,” such as the incoming president’s stated plans to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement. The deal has allowed car makers and suppliers to move production to Mexico in recent years without facing tariffs.

Representatives for Mr. Trump had no immediate comment on Toyota or its president’s remarks.

Toyota said in September that it would spend $150 million to boost output of its Tacoma pickup truck at a plant in Baja, Mexico. The company said the new Mexican plant will produce around 200,000 Corolla compact cars a year for the North American market starting in 2019.

The Corolla is the second-best-selling compact car in the U.S. behind the Honda Civic with Toyota delivering 360,000 in 2016. Unlike small cars built by domestic auto makers, which have weathered a sharp decline in demand, Toyota’s and Honda’s compact cars have largely held their ground as much of the market migrates to pickups and SUVs.

Toyota builds the Corolla in Mississippi and Cambridge, Ontario, which are two of seven manufacturing sites the auto maker operates in North America. It currently operates one factory in Mexico. Toyota has said 70% of the vehicles it sells in the U.S. are made in the U.S.

In recent years, Toyota has moved aggressively to make more of its cars in the top markets where it sells them, in part to shield itself from unfavorable currency movements. Toyota is in the midst of establishing a firmer presence in the U.S. at a location closer to its growing Mexican manufacturing footprint, building a new administrative headquarters in Plano, Texas that integrates operations previously spread out from California to New York.

The Dallas suburb will gain roughly 4,000 jobs as a result of the move. The auto maker also is spending $1 billion on a research center in Silicon Valley to study autonomous driving and robotics. Analysts say the $1 billion commitment is one of the biggest investments in Silicon Valley by an auto maker.

Write to Chester Dawson at and Chieko Tsuneoka at

Fake News Story Sets Off Israel-Pakistan Twitter Feud

December 25, 2016

JERUSALEM — A fake news story has touched off a tense Twitter confrontation between nuclear power Pakistan and Israel, widely believed to have a nuclear arsenal of its own, in an episode that underlines the potentially harmful impact of such stories in sensitive global affairs

In an apparent response to a fake story claiming Israel’s former defense minister threatened a nuclear attack against Pakistan if it sends troops to Syria, Pakistan’s Defense Minister Khawaja Mohammad Asif reminded Israel that “Pakistan is a nuclear state too.”

Israel’s Defense Ministry tweeted back Saturday, saying the original story on the site AWD News was “totally fictitious.”

AWD has been identified by fact-checking organizations as a fake news site.

Israel maintains a policy of nuclear ambiguity, neither confirming nor denying the existence of an arsenal. Pakistan became a nuclear power in 1998. The countries have no diplomatic ties.

There was no immediate reaction from Pakistan to Israel’s response.

China says Trump shows his lack of diplomatic skills and common sense with tweets

December 5, 2016

Trump’s off-the-cuff remarks do not auger well for Sino-US ties in the coming year, Chinese analysts say

By Liu Zhen and Wendy Wu
South China Morning Post

Donald Trump’s latest tweets accusing China of currency manipulation and militarising the South China Sea show the future US president’s lack of diplomatic skills, patience and economic common sense, according to Chinese analysts.

In an apparent defence of his protocol-breaking phone conversation with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on Friday, the US president-elect tweeted on Sunday: “Did China ask us if it was OK to devalue their currency (making it hard for our companies to compete), heavily tax our products going into their country (the US doesn’t tax them) or to build a massive military complex in the middle of the South China Sea. I don’t think so!”

Did China ask us if it was OK to devalue their currency (making it hard for our companies to compete), heavily tax our products going into..

their country (the U.S. doesn’t tax them) or to build a massive military complex in the middle of the South China Sea? I don’t think so!

While it’s understandable that Trump is trying to deliver a message that, whatever he does, he doesn’t need to inform China or care about what Beijing likes, he is neglecting the possible ramifications of his actions and words on Sino-US relations, analysts said.

Zhang Yuquan, a researcher of American studies at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, said Trump will have a steep learning curve in diplomacy given his lack of experience in the area, putting Sino-US ties on a bumpy start in 2017.

He added that “without doubt” tensions between the two countries will be very high as Trump settles in to his presidency, Zhang.

Jin Canrong, a professor of international relations at Renmin University in Beijing, said Trump’s tweets reflected his bellicose personality and intolerance of criticism from the Democrats, the White House and China, even though the Chinese government has been largely restrained since he was elected.

“Trump is still not yet in office yet, so the Chinese government can’t react too much to him, but China can take certain action against Taiwan,” Jin said.

China H-6 bomber Scarborough Shoal, the Philippines

Already, Foreign Minister Wang Yi has publicly blamed Taiwan for the phone call.

Meanwhile, Trump’s comments blaming China for undervaluing the yuan were simply contrary to the facts, economists argued.

“If China’s monetary authority suspended intervention, the yuan would weaken further. China is not trying to devaluate the yuan but to prevent it from depreciating more,” said Zhao Yang, chief China economist at Nomura.

Trump’s views on China’s currency was “not in line with reality”, so it was better to leave the issue to professionals instead of politicians.

“The People’s Bank of China and the Federal Reserve should have communicated on the currency issue,” said Zhao.

 Ben Bernanke

Former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said over the weekend that China did not meet the definition of currency manipulator, and the US Treasury Department under the Obama administration declined to label China as one.

“Trump treats politics as a businessman and fails to consider trade problems as part of a larger pattern, lacking long-term perspective and ignoring the benefits to US importers when he talks up possibility of trade barriers,” said Chen Long, an economist with the Bank of Dongguan, a bank in the Pearl River Delta.


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Donald Trump’s latest Twitter attack on Beijing has filtered through to China. Photograph by Greg Baker, AFP, Getty Images

“In everything he is better than Clinton,” commemorated Shen Dingli, a professor of international relations from Shanghai’s Fudan University. “We must welcome him.”

On Monday, as news of Trump’s latest Twitter attack on Beijing filtered through to China, where the social networking site is blocked by Communist party censors, that tune had changed.

“Ignorant. Distasteful,” snapped Shen when asked for his reaction to the president-elect’s 277-character outburst and his incendiary decision to engage with Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen on the telephone last Friday.

Shen, the deputy head of Fudan University’s institute of international affairs, said he had been outraged by Trump’s 10-minute call with the leader of Taiwan, a self-ruled island which China considers a renegade province.

“If he continues to call Taiwan a country we [should] sever relations with him,” the academic fumed. “I don’t know what the government would do [but] I know what I would do: I will close our embassy.”

Shi Yinhong, a Renmin University foreign policy expert, agreed the chances of a bitter and messy rupture between the US and China had increased following Sunday night’s tweets in which Trump again lashed out at Beijing’s alleged currency manipulation and construction of “a massive military complex” in the South China Sea.

Read more:

Donald Trump attacks China on Twitter over currency manipulation and South China Sea deepening diplomatic row

December 5, 2016
 Donald Trump

Donald Trump launched an attack against China last night, accusing Beijing of currency manipulation and flexing its military might in the South China Sea.

The tweets deepened a brewing diplomatic row that began on Friday when the US president-elect broke decades of US policy and spoke on the telephone with President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan.

Did China ask us if it was OK to devalue their currency (making it hard for our companies to compete), heavily tax our products going into..

He rejected the notion that he should have cleared the call with Beijing on Sunday night.

their country (the U.S. doesn’t tax them) or to build a massive military complex in the middle of the South China Sea? I don’t think so!

Earlier on Sunday Chinese state media had portrayed Mr Trump as a novice at world affairs whose call to the Taiwanese president was a blunder rather than an intentional reorientation of US policy in Asia.

China Daily, a state-run newspaper, said the president-elect’s “inexperience” led him to accept the call from Tsai Ing-wen, but warned that any further challenges to established norms in the US-China relationship would meet with a sterner response.

“If Trump wants to overstep the One China principle, he will destroy Sino-US ties,” the newspaper wrote.

Members of Mr Trump’s inner circle defended the call, the first conversation between US and Taiwanese leaders since 1979, though they were split over whether it was a simple matter of politeness or an intentional provocation.

Xi Jinping
Xi Jinping, the Chinese president CREDIT: LIU WEIBING/AP

Mike Pence, the vice-president elect, said Mr Trump had simply taken a “courtesy call” from Ms Tsai, as he had done with more than 50 other world leaders.

“We’ll deal with policy after January the 20th,” he told ABC News, referring to the date of Mr Trump’s inauguration. “This was a courtesy call.”

Reince Priebus, the incoming White House chief of staff,  said Mr Trump had known “exactly what was happening” in terms of the call’s significance, but that the president-elect was not signalling a major policy shift toward China.

The President of Taiwan CALLED ME today to wish me congratulations on winning the Presidency. Thank you!

Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the house and a Trump confidante, meanwhile told Fox News the call was meant to show “Beijing does not dictate who an American president speaks to.”

Interesting how the U.S. sells Taiwan billions of dollars of military equipment but I should not accept a congratulatory call.

While Mr Trump was warned by one geopolitical rival on Sunday, he was praised by another.

Vladimir Putin, the Russian president said he looks forward to “cooperation” with the “clever” Mr Trump.

“Trump was an entrepreneur and a businessman. He is already a statesman, he is the head of the United States of America, one of the world’s leading countries,” Mr Putin told NTV TV.

“Because he achieved success in business, it suggests that he is a clever man. And if he is a clever man, then he will fully and quite quickly understand another level of responsibility. We assume that he will be acting from these positions.”

Vladimir Putin

As Mr Trump has raised eyebrows with his early attempts at international diplomacy, the competition to become his secretary of state has remained ongoing.

Mr Trump’s advisers revealed yesterday that the list of candidates had been expanded, with more interviews planned for this week.

Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican nominee, and Rudy Giuliani, the former New York mayor, had been considered the front-runners but are now reportedly fading from the president-elect’s radar.

David Petraeus, the former general and CIA chief who resigned in 2012 after leaking classified information to his biographer and former mistress, remains a contender for the role.