Media Unlocked: Pelosi’s Taiwan visit reveals the rot in US’ political system
On August 2, Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the US Congress, paid a high-profile visit, in a military aircraft, to Taiwan. Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party authorities, who openly pursue independence in their party platform, received her with full protocol. In doing so, she openly broke America’s commitment not to develop official relations with Taiwan. This represents a growing pattern of American provocations and support for illegal separatism, and is the cumulation of five rounds of arms sales to Taiwan.
This not only provokes anger from the Chinese people, but breaches an international consensus that underlines China’s diplomatic exchanges with other nations. To understand the historical roots of this anger, a brief history of Taiwan should be noted.
Taiwan has been part of China since some 1,800 years ago. However, for a brief period in the early 17th century, the island was occupied by Dutch and Spanish colonists, until the local Chinese population threw out the foreign invaders, and reunified with the mainland. Yet this singular setback was not enough to deter foreign aggression, and in 1867 American marines attempted to forcefully occupy Taiwan, while in 1874, the Japanese, with the aid of Americans James Wasson and Douglas Cassel, attempted a similar invasion. Both attempts ended in failure.
Yet America remained unchastised and continued to plot with Japan, supplying them with arms, ships, money, and munitions, until they finally succeeded in their scheme, and forced China to cede Taiwan in the late 19th century.
Following the victory of the allied powers in WWII against Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, Taiwan was returned to China under the terms of the Cairo Declaration and the Potsdam Declaration. However, a civil war was instigated by the Chiang Kai-shek-led Kuomingtang. When Chiang and the Kuomingtang were defeated, they retreated to the island in 1949 while the People’s Republic of China was founded. Yet, despite their enmity, both sides agreed that Taiwan is a part of China and that there is only one China.
This agreement forms the core of the one-China principle. This principle is recognized as a universal consensus by the international community. One hundred eighty-one countries have established diplomatic relations with China on the basis of the one-China principle. In 1970, the United States established diplomatic relations with China and recognized in joint communiques that “there is but one China”. China and the Chinese people would not have reopened diplomatic relations with the US had the American party not recognized this basic aspect of Chinese sovereignty.
When Pelosi traveled in a US government military aircraft and paid a high-profile visit to Taiwan this week, she betrayed this fundamental principle upon which diplomatic relations with the US had been built. Indeed, what would the US do if the Southern States were to secede from the Union and declare independence with support from other nations? Yet this would not serve as a good analogy because the United States’ primary motive isn’t to help anyone but rather use the Taiwan question as a pawn to contain China, and further its own hegemonic interests in the region. Douglas MacArthur put it bluntly, “[Taiwan is] an unsinkable aircraft carrier”.
This is why South Korean president Yoon Suk-yeol avoided Nancy Pelosi after she visited the Island. This is why patriotic compatriots in Taiwan yelled, “Yankee go home,” outside her hotel in Taipei. US President Biden said that the US will not change its one-China principle and does not support “Taiwan Independence”. Pelosi’s visit shows that this statement is either rank hypocrisy or that the US government and its political system has become weak and divided.
Pelosi’s visit is just the continuation of America’s past imperial ambitions in Taiwan. It merely aims to further American military interests at the expense of everyone else. A case in point, what has the Speaker achieved during this visit? She has poisoned local relations, leading to severe economic damage to Taiwan residents and hundreds of products blocked from exporting to the Chinese mainland.
This visit has also provoked military tensions that risk escalation into a war between two nuclear powers. Finally, it has led to the collapse of Sino-American collaborations in fields like climate change and drug policing. Clearly, it harms the people of China and the US, while benefiting only her military-industrial complex.
If this visit benefits neither the people of China, nor United States, why did Pelosi visit? The answer can be found in the rot that permeates the American political system, in this case, represented by the public relations company, Gephardt. Companies like Gephardt, run by Richard Gephardt, Pelosi’s predecessor as House Minority Speaker, take millions from both secessionist forces and American defense companies to lobby American politicians.
Data from the US Department of Justice shows that Taiwan authorities have spent over $3 million a year lobbying US politicians in support of secessionists. These companies only serve diehard “Taiwan independence” secessionist forces and the US military-industrial complex which benefits from conflict and strife.
The reason that the Chinese people are so angered at Pelosi’s Taiwan trip is that they are tired of Western attempts at interference and undermining its sovereignty. They have had enough of American politicians and companies getting rich off of Chinese labor and using that self-same wealth to provoke conflict. Yet the efforts of Pelosi and her ilk are doomed to failure. No amount of money or lies will undermine the will of Chinese compatriots on both sides of the Straits to seek a speedy reunification.