Pelosi’s Inspiring Trip
Beijing considered the Pelosi visit a U.S. ploy. provocation.
When Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi inserted the itinerary for a valedictory tour through Asia, the island of Taiwan to her agenda, it was impossible to have known the surprise reaction in stunned Beijing.
Thus, when the Financial Times revealed that the speaker would be visiting Taiwan, which China regards as a breakaway province, an enraged Beijing took the Pelosi visit to be a deliberate U.S. provocation.
Beijing appears to have a genuine and understandable reaction.
” If the U.S. continues to insist on its way, China will adopt firm and forceful steps to protect national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” a Chinese spokesperson told reporters in Beijing. The U.S. should bear the full consequences of this visit. “
Privately Beijing may be sending more severe and pointed warnings that could lead to military action.
Pelosi did not appear to coordinate the Taiwan visit with the White House and Defense Department. On Wednesday, President Joe Biden stated to reporters that Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan was “not a good idea at the moment”.
Where are we now?
China is promising serious retaliation if the highest U.S. official since Speaker Newt Gingrich in 1997 flies to Taiwan.
The Biden administration has stated that they don’t believe that a Pelosi trip to Taiwan would be a good idea, as the Chinese Communist Party is about to hold a conference in which it will decide on a third term of President Xi Jinping for five years.
If Pelosi cancels or postpones her visit it will be seen by China as an American climb-down and a disrespect to its friends in Taiwan.
Around Asia-Pacific Rim the phrase will be “The Americans faced with China’s firmness, backed Down.” “
But, if this visit proceeds, China has publicly pledged to reply. Relations between the two countries are likely to suffer, possibly even seriously, if China chooses to respond militarily to Pelosi’s visit.
However the collision unfolds, it is clear that the U.S. has paid the price for its decades-old policy of building China up in the expectation and hope that Beijing would become a friendly and benign rival to the United States.
Granted most preferred-nation status trade status by U.S. which also introduced it to the World Trade Organization. Since then, China has transformed itself from an economically small country like Italy into a global manufacturing giant that rivals the United States.
Although China’s navy may be less powerful than that of the United States Navy, the Chinese Navy is still larger in terms of the number and types it deploys.
Strategically, China has moved to claim 90 percent of the South China Sea, the Paracel and Spratly island chains, and most of the rocks and reefs in the territorial waters of Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines and Taiwan. China has converted some of these reefs and rocks into naval and fortified bases.
China claims Taiwan and the Taiwan Strait, as well as the territorial waters there. It also claims the Senkaku Islands which are occupied by Japan.
In 1972, U.S. President Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger, in Peking, seemed to concede China’s claim to Taiwan in the Shanghai Communique that came out of that historic summit:
” The United States recognizes that both sides of the Taiwan Strait believe there is only one China, and Taiwan is an integral part of China. This position is not challenged by the United States Government. The United States Government reiterates its desire for a peaceful resolution of the Taiwan issue by the Chinese.
” With this in mind, the U.S. government has declared its ultimate goal of withdrawing all U.S. military installations and forces from Taiwan. It will reduce its military forces in Taiwan and increase the number of civilians living there as tension in the region decreases. “
In 1979, President Jimmy Carter broke relations with the Republic of China on Taiwan, recognized Communist China and abrogated the mutual-security treaty with Taipei dating to 1954.
Over the past three decades, China-made products have been imported by the United States. Also, U.S. manufacturing has been transferred to China in order to benefit from the low wages and labor force. This has led to many billions of dollars in China trade surpluses and China’s rapid rise to become an Asian superpower.
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In recent times, Beijing’s military made numerous incursions into Taiwan’s air defense ID zone. It has also had increasing numbers of encounters with U.S. Navy aircraft and Air Force planes over the South China Sea.
Biden stated that the U.S. would fight to protect our ally the Philippines in case of a South China Sea collision. Along with our Japanese ally, we will defend the Senkakus. Biden stated that we would fight for Taiwan, even though the staff tried to rebut his words.
A collision between the U.S. and China somewhere in Western Pacific seems inevitable. Only two questions remain: when and where.