The Taiwanese government paid Bob Dole and his Washington law firm, Alston & Bird, $140,000 from May to October to strengthen its relationship with President-elect Donald Trump.
According to a recently released lobbying disclosure document, Dole’s lobbying work averaged more than $20,000 a month.
Dole, a former U.S. senator from Kansas and 1996 Republican presidential nominee, has been setting up meetings between Trump’s transition team and Taiwanese emissaries over the past six months, Shanghaiist reported.
The 93-year-old lobbyist also briefed Trump’s policy director and assisted in writing the most “pro Taiwan” Republican party platform in history.
Dole’s efforts on behalf of Taipei resulted in an unprecedented phone call between Trump and Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on December 2.
It was the first communication between an American president or president-elect and a Taiwanese leader since 1979 after the U.S. established a “One China” position, which states that “there is but one China and Taiwan is part of China,” Business Insider reported.
Vice President-elect Mike Pence dubbed the conversation as a “courtesy call.” But it was actually a result of a coordinated effort between Taiwan lobbyists and Trump’s staff, which indicates a possible change in cross-strait policy.
Beijing called the meeting a Taiwanese “shenanigan” which takes advantage of Trump’s lack of experience in foreign policy.
According to a New York Times report published on Tuesday, a January letter laying out the terms of Dole’s partnership with the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office, Taiwan’s unofficial embassy in the U.S., also included a $25,000 monthly retainer.
Some of the terms of the agreement included:
- Assisting Taiwan obtain membership in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (the trade deal that Trump promised to withdraw from
- Help Taiwan achieve its “military goals”
- Organize for Taiwanese officials to meet with members of Congress from both Democratic and Republican parties
- And arrange access to Republican presidential candidates and the party’s national convention
Image via Gage Skidmore / The Alliance for Historical Hillsborough