Political Insider

An AJC blog about Atlanta politics, Georgia politics, Georgia and metro Atlanta election campaigns. Because all politics is local.

China fires warning shot to Donald Trump on Taiwan

President-elect Donald Trump made shaking up relations with China a cornerstone of his campaign for the White House, but now the Asian powerhouse is becoming more and more public about where its own red lines are.

The Associated Press reported this morning that Wang Yi, China's foreign minister, "appeared to underscore that China's position on Taiwan is non-negotiable":

Wang told the Communist Party mouthpiece, the People's Daily, that China will strive to boost cooperation with the U.S. but he foresaw "new, complicated and uncertain factors affecting bilateral relations" under the Trump administration.

The remarks serve as a warning shot weeks after Trump indicated he could reevaluate the U.S. policy on Taiwan, the self-governing island which China sees as part of its territory.

Trump broke with decades of protocol by taking a phone call from the president of Taiwan earlier this month. And yesterday he appointed an economist highly critical of the Asian powerhouse to lead a White House new trade council.

Trump's stance on China has caused some bristling among pro-free trade Southern Republicans who otherwise support his agenda. Free trade, after all, has been part of the Georgia GOP orthodoxy for years.

Read more about Georgia Republicans and trade here. 


U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson will be in Sandy Springs this morning for a dedication ceremony renaming a bridge over the Chattahoochee River in his honor.

It turns out Cobb County leadership made the decision to rename the structure without first checking with the owner, the city of Sandy Springs, per Reporter Newspapers.


The Sandy Springs city council approved the tribute on Tuesday, but not without some jokes about Cobb County traffic.


For the first time in more than 40 years, Georgia is not producing a weekly bulletin that helps set chicken prices across the country.

We told you back in November that the state Department of Agriculture was going to start asking chicken producers to sign legal affidavits certifying the prices they quote state officials as part of the "Georgia Dock."

The Dock is the state's weekly estimate of chicken prices and, until recently, was very influential in setting market prices across the country. Federal officials and others began noticing Georgia's index has been pricing chickens significantly higher than others and began to question whether the fix was in. Requiring companies to sign affidavits would seem to address that.

But, many of the top chicken producers apparently balked at doing so and now the state has scrapped the program with a vow to come back next year with a better plan.


Our friends over at GeorgiaPol report that the Peach State usurped Texas for the highest number of executions in 2016:

America saw 20 executions in 2016, nine of which came from Georgia. That’s nearly half of the executions nationwide. It’s the most inmates Georgia has put to death in the 40 years since the Supreme Court allowed executions. Prior to this year, Georgia’s record was five executions in 1987.


This tidbit buried inside a Politico story about Donald Trump’s Cabinet nominees caught our eye:

A parallel project is underway inside the Trump campaign, which has assigned two “sherpas” — a lead sherpa as well as one designated to media relations — to each Cabinet nominee, responsible for ferrying their respective nominees through the confirmation process. The sherpas in turn report to senior members of the Trump team: Lead sherpas report to Christine Ciccone, a lobbyist and former Jeb Bush campaign staffer, and media sherpas to senior advisers Jason Miller and Sean Spicer.

The AJC, for the record, has yet to hear from Georgia U.S. Rep. Tom Price’s media sherpa, but we’ll be checking our phones over the holidays.

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About the Author

Tamar Hallerman is The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Washington correspondent, covering Congress, federal agencies and other government activities that impact Georgia.