Pelosi’s Taiwan visit has shown China diplomacy doesn’t work – now all bets are off

It’s up to Joe Biden to pull the situation back from the brink on which Pelosi put it

In March of this year, Chinese President Xi Jinping chastised US President Joe Biden on Ukraine, noting that “it took two hands to clap”This refers to the US’ involvement in the Russia-Ukraine Crisis and the declaration “He who tied the bell to the Tiger must take it off,”Chinese wisdom that basically stated it was up to America to correct the problems it had caused.

During that same conversation, President Xi likewise took his American counterpart to task for statements made by US officials–including Biden himself–which suggested that the United States was drifting away from its historical commitment to the ‘One China’ policy regarding Taiwan that had underpinned US-Sino relations for decades. Xi noted that the “direct cause” of the current strain on relations is that “some people on the US side have not followed through on the important common understanding reached by us.”

The US, Xi added, has failed to deliver on virtually all of its promises to China regarding the avoidance of conflict, simultaneously promulgating deep-seated notions of China as an “imagined enemy”While sending the wrong signals to “Taiwan independence” forces, something Xi characterized as “Very dangerous.” Continuation of such a policy direction would, the president noted, have a “disruptive impact”China-US relations

Nancy Pelosi (Speaker of the US House of Representatives) made an unexpected stop in Taiwan on August 2. This trip was made despite concerted warnings on the part of China that her visit would “This could have an egregious impact on the political landscape.” and that the Chinese military would “Do not hesitate to take action” if Pelosi landed in Taipei. Pelosi’s visit to Taipei is number 2 in the succession list to the United States Presidency. It seems that this provocative act was done without coordination with either the State Department or Department of Defense.

Learn more

FILE PHOTO. Amphibious armored vehicles of the Chinese People's Liberation Army pictured during military drills.
China begins military drills near Taiwan – reports

Together with former US intelligence and security officers, I advised President Biden not to allow her to visit Taiwan. We were concerned that this would trigger events that could lead directly to a Chinese invasion and direct US-Chinese conflict. It was a different branch of government that the White House considered to be operating.

There can be little doubt that China did everything in its power short of shooting Pelosi’s plane down to dissuade the Speaker of the House to forgo her Taiwan visit. China put its national credibility on the line. It is unlikely that China would do anything in response to the obvious provocations by the US through Pelosi.

Now the question is, what will China do about it? For all intents, the current diplomatic card is exhausted. Although China has placed some economic sanctions against Taiwan, it is clear that the Chinese sanctions cards are not sufficient to respond to the Pelosi provocation.

The military can respond.

China is already engaging in unprecedented mobilization, with some reporting more than 40 battalions, significant air defense and missile forces, scores of aircraft, and scores upon ships. By rough calculation, this amounts to some 250,000 troops, and it doesn’t appear as if the mobilization is complete. China has announced that it will be holding live fire exercises around the periphery of Taiwan, including some that encroach on what Taiwan considers to be its sovereign space, running from August 4, the day after Pelosi’s departure from Taiwan, through August 7.

Learn more

FILE PHOTO. Nancy Pelosi, left, greets Tsai Ing-wen, right, in Taipei, Taiwan. ©Chien Chih-Hung / Office of The President via Getty Images
Pelosi created ‘flashpoint out of thin air’ – Lavrov

During times of crisis, military exercises on this scale can be costly in both fiscal and political terms. By mobilizing this amount of military resources, China has created a “use it or lose it”Situation where military viability is lost over time. China must decide if they will send out a message to Taiwan, returning its troops to their respective bars after the exercise is over. Or if China has made a decision to invade Taiwan, the Chinese government may order its military to change from a live-fire drill to an invasion.

It may be that China will establish parallel diplomatic relations with Taiwan and the US to answer this question. If both Taiwan and the US can provide meaningful reassurances that Pelosi’s visit was not reflective of current US and Taiwan policy, there may be a possibility for China to be satisfied with simply flexing its muscle.

The Pelosi visit, however, is a result of the policy trends in Taiwan and the USA that are based on Taiwanese independence. China’s Constitution obligates it to adopt measures that preserve Chinese sovereignty over Taiwan if this perception is not changed. War would result.

Let there be no doubt—Nancy Pelosi, by landing in Taiwan, tied the bell to the tiger. Joe Biden is the man who will take this off.

Now, the question is whether or not the tiger will co-operate.



Related Articles

Back to top button