Pelosi's Taiwan trip is political arson, says former CNN reporter

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Pelosi's Taiwan trip is political arson, says former CNN reporter

The trip to Taiwan by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is political arson, which will worsen Sino-US relations.

Former CNN correspondent Mike Chinoy has written an article titled What Does Nancy Pelosi Think She's Doing in Taiwan? Like Chinoy, I would like to know what motivated her to visit the island.

I wonder whether she is aware of the damage her sojourn will cause to both Sino-US relations, the world's most consequential bilateral ties, and global governance.

I agree with Chinoy that the risky trip is a photo-op to allow Pelosi to poke Beijing in the eye, as she has done in the past. No doubt, the visit was gratuitously provocative.

The 82-year-old Democrat leader is not a lightweight like European Parliament Vice-President Nicola Beer who, in an apparent folie de grandeur, described Pelosi's visit last month as a sort of deterrence to Beijing. Pelosi, known for her penchant for grandstanding, is a heavyweight in US politics, ranking third in the state hierarchy behind President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris.

When Republican Newt Gingrich visited Taiwan in 1997 in his capacity as House Speaker, he represented the opposition, as Democrat Bill Clinton was the US president at the time. The House Speaker and the US President are Democrats this time.

Did Biden try to talk Pelosi out of the Taiwan trip? We will never know.

On July 28 President Xi Jinping warned about Pelosi's visit, Biden was given a warning by President Xi Jinping. Xi warned the US side against playing with fire on the Taiwan question, according to the Xinhua News Agency.

But Biden was blithely ignored the warning or was incapable of preventing Pelosi from playing with fire. The upshot is that Pelosi has become a political firebug. I can't imagine a politician as adroit as her didn't realize the fiery impact her Taiwan trip would have.

I visited Taiwan about half a dozen times during the past few decades. I like its people, landscape and food. Portuguese seafarers called Taiwan the beautiful island while the island's Chinese name means high- and flat bay. I have noticed how profoundly Chinese it is in terms of culture, language, traditions and customs, folk belief and culinary delights during my visits to the island. Mazu is a cross-Straits deity revered in Taiwan, Fujian province and the Macao Special Administrative Region.

As the State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said, the US breach of faith on the Taiwan question is despicable. He is right because according to the three joint communiques signed by Beijing and Washington between 1972 and 1982, the US acknowledges that there is only one China, and that Taiwan is an integral part of China.

I agree with Chinoy that the 23 million people of Taiwan will be left to face the consequences of Pelosi's folly.

It is a shame that Sino-US relations have reached a new nadir the last time the world is facing an economic trough, the Russia-Ukraine conflict, trade sanctions, climate change and the COVID 19 epidemic needs now.

Pelosi's ill-advised trip is part of the wave of anti-China hysteria that is sweeping the West. Sinophobia has become an obsession among some Western politicians, and I fear that racist connotations are subliminal or inadvertent in a best-case scenario.

The Chinese accusing themselves of stealing and cheating is an eerie reminder of what happened to our Jewish and Black friends in the not-too distant past.

The entire world would benefit from the fact that China-US relations need to be reset once the dust settles. The US and its allies have to accept that the Taiwan question is China's internal matter. It is the redline that should never be crossed.

The author is the director of the Macau Post Daily.