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Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan: “Not a good idea” – or “obligation”?

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Status: 07/27/2022 12:15 p.m.

Nancy Pelosi wants to go to Taiwan as the third highest ranking politician in the United States. China sees this as a provocation and strongly protests. The US government and its party have placed travel plans in a dilemma.

By Steffen Root, ARD Studio Washington

The US government press spokesman was nebulous at best when asked by several reporters about Nancy Pelosi’s highly controversial travel plans: whether the Speaker of the US House of Representatives United will visit Taiwan or not has not yet been decided. He won’t be able to say anything about such possible travel plans until it becomes concrete, at least not today, Ted Price said.

But the discussion about the travel plans of the third highest ranking politician in the United States continues happily. The remarkable thing is that although President Joe Biden’s Democrats always pay strict attention to internal party unity, the All People’s American President stabbed his party friend Pelosi in the back when he came to Taiwan. .

His military advisers didn’t think Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan was a good idea, Biden said in an impromptu press release a few days ago. And since then, many in Washington have wondered if this was just another thoughtless statement by the US president. Or if Biden is actually trying to dissuade Pelosi from going to Taipei to avoid angering Chinese leaders. After all, he considers the democratically-ruled island of Taiwan to be part of the People’s Republic, although it never was.

“Pledge to Support Taiwan”

It would be really important for Pelosi to make the trip, said Keith Krach, a former department chief at the US State Department. Radio ARD. Pelosi’s planned trip is seen as a provocation by the Chinese government. But the United States has “an obligation to support Taiwan – to maintain stability in the Indo-Pacific, protect the global economy and promote democracy.”

Almost two years ago, when the American president was still a Republican and called Donald Trump, Krach himself visited Taiwan as, as he himself says, the most senior US State Department official for 41 years. At that time, too, the communist leadership in Beijing was threatening.

General Secretary Xi Jinping fears nothing more than “the United States,” says Krach. But no one should “fall on their knees before the ‘Kaiser Xi'”.

Scathing warnings from Beijing

Chinese state and party leaders have repeatedly warned the United States of Pelosi’s possible trip to Taiwan since last week. China is ready to “take up this challenge”“, Chinese leadership spokesman Zhao Lijian said. But if the United States “stubbornly persists in its misdeeds”, China is “obligated” to “take decisive and effective measures to defend the country’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity”.

Chinese state media even suggested military force to prevent Pelosi’s plane from landing in Taiwan.

What would a refusal mean?

Krach thinks it’s a bluff. It is more dangerous to cancel the trip now. China might otherwise feel emboldened to treat Taiwan the way Russia treats Ukraine. President Vladimir Putin claimed before invasion, Ukraine has always been part of Russia, but that’s not true: “Putin wants to rewrite history. And it’s the same with Xi Jinping. Taiwan wasn’t always part of China either.

Other Republican politicians in the United States have also called on the Democratic Speaker of the House of Representatives to visit Taiwan, including former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Pelosi is now at an impasse. If her journey continues, she risks further deteriorating the already miserable relationship between the United States and China. And this at a time when President Biden needs the Chinese in a number of policy areas: in the fight against global inflation, for example, and in climate protection.

On the other hand, if Pelosi cancels the trip, the Republican opposition would call the Democrats “weak on China.” And that would be a sort of maximum sentence in the upcoming US midterm election campaign.

(No) give way to China? Nancy Pelosi’s controversial travel plans to Taiwan

Steffen Root, ARD Washington, 27.7.2022 10:08

Source www.tagesschau.de

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