Taiwan: Pelosi and the War Party “Play with Fire”
The visit to Taiwan by U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and five U.S. Congressmen on Aug. 2 has unquestionably brought the world a big step closer to a new world war. The decision to meet with Taiwanese officials was taken in clear violation of Washington’s official commitment to the “one China policy” and despite stern warnings from Beijing not to interfere in China’s internal policies.
As an immediate response, the Chinese authorities have announced economic measures against Taiwan, and several days of military exercises and drills involving live ammunition, to take place in six zones surrounding the island. These zones include areas that would be within Taiwan’s territorial waters, were it an independent nation. Note that U.S. warships have been present in this area and have held deliberately provocative exercises there for months now.
On July 28, Presidents Xi Jinping and Joe Biden had a long phone discussion at the latter’s request, during which the Chinese President explicitly warned that “those who play with fire, will perish by it”. President Biden, according to the White House, assured his counterpart that his Administration remains commited to the one China policy, and the Pentagon was reportedly urging the Congressional delegation not to travel to Taipei for security reasons. Nonetheless, while in Taipei, the aging and arrogant Mrs. Pelosi proclaimed she was there to “protect democracy against autocracy” and to defend the separatist forces against Beijing,
Thus, while waging war against Russia over Ukraine, the United States has recklessly escalated tensions with an even more powerful “rival” to the West’s “rules-based order”.
EIR’s Mike Billington had discussed this issue on Aug. 1 with former ambassador Chas Freeman, one of the most knowledgeable Americans regarding Chinese issues. In his view, Mrs. Pelosi’s visit “is an act of extreme irresponsibility”. Rather than enhancing Taiwan’s security, “it is likely damaging it, threatening it, and leading to an escalation in tensions in the Taiwan Strait. Exactly what the Chinese will do, no one knows. They have many, many options, political, economic and military. It’s clear that the speaker put herself in a position where she could not not go. She equally put Taiwan in a position where it could not not welcome her. And she put the Chinese government in a position where it could not not do something escalatory. The sad reality is that the White House and the military in Washington both see this trip as damaging rather than helpful. But the White House has not had the courage to block Mrs. Pelosi’s travel.”
Concerning possible parallels between the provocations around Ukraine and Taiwan, the former U.S. ambassador said: “I think the issue of Ukraine and the issue of Taiwan do have something in common in that the primary lesson we should take from what has happened in Ukraine is that if you defy the forcefully expressed objections of a great power to your actions, you do so at your peril, and the peril of those who you purport to protect. Russia was provoked into what it did in Ukraine, which does not justify what it did in Ukraine. It was unjustified, but provoked. A similar possibility exists in the case of Taiwan.”
However, he does not expect the Chinese leadership to act immediately, but to make certain demands, and only “use force” when they are certain it will be successful. The full interview with Amb. Freeman is available here.