The visit of the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosia Taiwanas part of its roadmap through the Asiadivided opinions inside and outside the United States. Interestingly, she was praised by Republican opponents for demonstrating American solidarity with the Asian island; Democrats, on the other hand, criticized Pelosi for irritating the communist government in Beijing, which promised retaliation – and the criticism came despite the visit having offered Democrats a factoid that allows them to divert attention from the sorry state of the US economy, victim of stagflation. which should lead voters to put the Republicans ahead of both houses of Congress in the November elections. However, there is much more to the visit than mere electoral considerations.
The present times, unfortunately, have been marked by the increase in the superpowers’ belief in power solutions. the own Chinain clear disregard of the return agreement Hong Kong, has already abolished the “one country, two systems” model that was supposed to be in force until 2047, crushing freedoms and imposing on the former British enclave the same dictatorship to which all other citizens are subjected. The repression promoted by Beijing was met with protests from the international community, but nothing more. THE Russiaunable to accept that the Ukrainians decided their own destiny and opted for a rapprochement with the West instead of staying in Moscow’s orbit, invaded the neighboring nation and has been conducting a brutal and exhausting military campaign, counting on the fatigue of North Americans and Europeans, dependent on Russian gas.
This is the time for the international community to send an unequivocal message that it will not tolerate imperialist adventures like the one that is taking place in Ukraine and that could happen in Taiwan.
Taiwan’s position is much more fragile than that of Ukraine, an established nation, a full member of the international community. Only just over a dozen countries recognize the Republic of China, Taiwan’s official name – the largest of which is Paraguay. Most of the West (including the United States) maintains informal relations with the island, while formally recognizing communist China. The US stance became known as “strategic ambiguity”: the US defends the “One China” principle, but is not clear on what that means, and the expression has different meanings depending on who uses it – for Chinese communists , for example, it describes a single country under the government of communist partyand which includes the “rebel province” of Taiwan, which sooner or later will be subjected to Beijing, for better or worse.
Critics of Pelosi’s visit, even those sympathetic to Taiwan, argued that the timing was not the best, as the Chinese Communist Party will soon hold its congress, in which Xi Jinping will seek a new term, and the leader cannot show weakness on an issue as crucial as Taiwan’s status on the eve of its consecration as the strongest Chinese communist ruler after Mao Tse-tung and Deng Xiaoping. However, there is nothing to indicate that Xi’s position is threatened if he does not respond aggressively to the visit. And, as a matter of fact, if the point is not to irritate the Communist Party, then no time would be appropriate to visit Taiwan.
But the time is entirely appropriate for the entire international community (and not just the United States) to send an unequivocal message that it will not tolerate imperialist adventures like the one that is taking place in Ukraine and that could happen in Taiwan. The China of 2022 is not the same as the 1990s of the last century, when the most recent Taiwan Strait Crisis took place: it is more powerful and more aggressive, and it is keen to demonstrate this not only in Hong Kong, but also with all the military exercises it carries out in the vicinity of the islandlaunching missiles and frequently violating Taiwanese airspace and territorial sea.
As much as using diplomatic channels to dissuade China and sending military aid to Taiwan to be able to respond to Chinese aggression remain critically needed, they do not exclude the importance of a public show of support. If the visit of the president of one of the houses of the North American Legislative Power (and which is longtime opponent of Chinese totalitarianism) Taiwan is the best way to make such a demonstration, it is something that can be discussed in the face of so many factors involved. And even if this specific visit was not the most prudent decision, it must be recognized that the United States at least went beyond words of solidarity and reinforced the promise made by Joe Bidento support Taiwan in the event of a communist attack.
So far, the communist dictatorship’s response has been to stop importing fish and fruit from the island – without, however, touching the important trade in Taiwanese chips, essential for Chinese electronics factories – and carry out new military exercises closer to the island, but which so far sound more like a new show of force than a sign of an imminent attack. Only the coming days and weeks will show whether the American message was properly understood by Beijing.