Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan last week was a major setback for peace, and did nothing more than ramp hostilities and the prospects of a war with China that the U.S. cannot win. (See “CHINA WON’T STOP AT TAIWAN, SO WHERE SHOULD AMERICA DRAW THE LINE?” “WILL CHINA SOON INVADE TAIWAN?” “TAIWAN MILITARY RAMP-UP WILL NOT STOP CHINA,” “BIDEN SAYS U.S. WILL FIGHT CHINA IF IT INVADES TAIWAN, BUT WHITE HOUSE FLACKS QUICKLY BACKTRACK.”)
Besides China cutting off communication with the U.S. military and banning over 2,000 food imports from Taiwan, its latest round of military drills in the area have disrupted shipping and air traffic surrounding Taiwan.
Beijing has long declared Taiwan as part of its territory under its “One China Principle.” The U.S. has historically pursued a policy toward the matter as one of “strategic ambiguity,” which means it will aid Taiwan’s defenses but will not promise to come to the island’s defenses in the event of an attack.
Beijing said Taiwan belongs to mainland China and no outside force will be able to stop it if it takes action against Taiwan.
China sees Taiwan as part of its territory and will “unify” the renegade island—separated by the Taiwan Strait—with force if needed. Taiwan, which is home to about 24 million, has been governed independently since 1949.
The Council on Foreign Relations wrote, “Beijing claims that Taiwan is bound by an understanding known as the 1992 Consensus, which was reached between representatives of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the Kuomintang (KMT) party that then ruled Taiwan. However, the two sides don’t agree on the content of this so-called consensus, and it was never intended to address the question of Taiwan’s legal status.”
NOTE: The Trends Journal has contacted the State Department several times to find out how much Pelosi’s trip cost the American taxpayer. But they have not responded to our request.
China’s People’s Liberation Army launched waves of ballistic missiles into the waters surrounding Taiwan on Thursday, shortly after Pelosi’s visit. The Taiwanese Defense Ministry said the PLA fired 11 ballistic missiles into the waters off northern, southern and eastern Taiwan. Tokyo said five missiles landed in its waters.
Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said Beijing carried out a simulated attack that included 14 ships, 20 planes. China announced that it will halt military cooperation with the U.S. and also sanctioned Pelosi over the visit.
Bonny Lin, who worked at the Pentagon and is now at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, told The New York Times that she is concerned that the latest Chinese military exercises could escalate.
“This is one of the scenarios that is difficult to deal with,’’ she said. “If a military exercise transitions to a blockade, when does it become clear that the exercise is now a blockade? Who should be the first to respond? Taiwan’s forces? The United States? It’s not clear.”
China said those who “play with fire” over Taiwan would “perish.”
Zu Guanghong, a Chinese navy captain in a People’s Liberation Army, said in a video message that China is “maintaining a high state of alert, ready for battle at all times, able to fight at any time,” according to the Times.
“We have the determination and ability to mount a painful direct attack against any invaders who would wreck unification of the motherland, and would show no mercy,” he said.
- Taylor Fravel, a professor and director of the security studies program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, told The Wall Street Journalthat Beijing’s exercises “demonstrate that China may now be able to carry out some kinds of operations that it may have been unable to do in the past, such as carrying out an actual blockade of Taiwan’s ports, perhaps closing the Taiwan Strait.”
TRENDPOST: We have been reporting on the tensions in the Indo-Pacific region as China extends its influence. Notable countries like South Korea and Germany called for tensions to cool in the region and did not outright condemn China for its response to Pelosi’s visit.
Christofer Burger, German Foreign Ministry spokesman, called for “de-escalation in the region, stressing that disputes should be resolved peacefully and by mutual agreement of all sides.”
Park Jin, South Korean foreign minister, expressed “concerns over rising tensions surrounding Taiwan,” according to Yonhap News.
South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, a conservative, did not meet with Pelosi due to a scheduling conflict, but the move was seen as deliberate. He was on vacation in Seoul.
He does not want Seoul’s relationship with his country to worsen by embracing Pelosi. There was no mention of Taiwan during their 40-minute phone call.
He made his decision after “considering the overall national interest” of South Korea, the Journal reported. The paper said Yoon’s decision won praise from the opposition party because it would have meant “jumping into the fire of the U.S.-China conflict” because Seoul stands to gain little if relations with China sour.
As expected, the whores in the mainstream media acted like Yoon’s pragmatism was a fatal misstep. Bloomberg wrote: “South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol, who has seen his approval rating drop to near historic depths just three months after taking office, didn’t see it necessary to greet Mrs. Pelosi in person—opting for a phone call instead.”
North Korea called Pelosi “the worst destroyer of international peace and stability.”
The Global Times, a mouthpiece for the Chinese government, ran an op-ed condemning the visit.
The paper wrote: “Pelosi declared that the US ‘stands with Taiwan.’ She probably wanted to impress the world as an 82-year-old person “offering support” to Taiwan despite the danger, a way to cover up the evil purpose of her visit. This reminds us of a common phenomenon in the international community in recent years: those some US politicians claim to stand with are going to be in trouble.”