Countermeasures against Pelosi's Taiwan visit show rationality and wisdom
Updated 10:37, 05-Aug-2022
Wang Wen
The U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks at a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, July 29, 2022. /CFP

The U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks at a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, July 29, 2022. /CFP

Editor's note: Wang Wen is the Executive Dean of Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at the Renmin University of China and Executive Director of the China-U.S. People-to-People Exchange Research Center. The article reflects the author's opinions and not necessarily the views of CGTN.

On the evening of August 2, disregarding China's strong opposition and stern representations, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a blatant visit to China's Taiwan region. It's such a bad move that it has caused great concern in the international community about the breakdown of China-U.S. relations and is strongly condemned by the Chinese government and Chinese people.

"Those who play with fire will perish by it," and the fire is burning. Not surprisingly, the Chinese government has taken a series of countermeasures against Pelosi's visit to Taiwan. The Chinese People's Liberation Army's live-fire military exercises in six exclusion zones encircling Taiwan island will leave the "Taiwan independence" separatists on tenterhooks.

In addition, the Chinese mainland suspended imports from more than 100 food exporters in Taiwan, banned imports of citrus fruits, chilled white striped hairtail and frozen horse mackerel from Taiwan, discontinued natural sand exports to Taiwan, and announced that organizations, such as "Taiwan Foundation for Democracy" and "International Cooperation and Development Fund," which cooperate with hardline separatists in Taiwan would be punished.

As a result, Taiwan's annual trade surplus of about $100 billion with the mainland is set to shrink drastically. Moreover, it will seriously affect the everyday life of the people on the island and create a force of opposition from the local society and general public against the separatist leader's policy of "seeking U.S. support for their independence agenda."

By taking a long view of the big picture, the measures taken by the Chinese mainland over the past few days in response to Pelosi's visit to China's Taiwan region are full of wisdom and rationality and reflect that China is a peace-loving and responsible global power.

Geopolitically, Beijing's diplomatic deterrence has forced the U.S. to repeatedly explain that Pelosi's choice to visit Taiwan was hers alone and not an official U.S. policy. The U.S. government has also repeatedly stressed that its position on the one-China principle remains unchanged, reflecting its scruple of China's strength.

Chinese military aircraft crossed the so-called median line of the Taiwan Strait. Beijing has also previously declared that the Taiwan Strait is not international waters, and this time it is conducting military exercises in six exclusion zones encircling the island, which can effectively deter the separatist forces in Taiwan and Pelosi.

In terms of public opinion, while the world is concerned about Pelosi's visit to Taiwan, it is also listening closely to the anger and voices of China. For years, Western countries often juxtapose the term "Taiwan" with "China" in their narratives in an attempt to mainstream the concept of "Taiwan independence" in public opinion around the world.

This time, global mainstream media, politicians and dignitaries, including the New York Times and two former Australian prime ministers, Kevin Rudd and Paul Keating, have unanimously criticized Pelosi for provoking and escalating the situation. The entire West and every country in the world are following the Chinese mainland's policy towards Taiwan in a way that has not been seen for many years.

People gather in front of the San Francisco Federal Building to protest against Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to China's Taiwan region in California, the U.S., August 1, 2022. /CFP

People gather in front of the San Francisco Federal Building to protest against Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to China's Taiwan region in California, the U.S., August 1, 2022. /CFP

On the surface, over the issue of Pelosi's visit, China and the U.S. have been in a state of tug-of-war, and China has shown its firm will to resolutely counteract in case of such a visit. But from a broader perspective, China has been trying to steer the game between China and the United States to avoid the "Thucydides trap," while the U.S. is irresponsibly pulling the two countries into the pit of major power conflict.

Since taking office, the Biden administration has not come out of the shadow of the Trump administration's China policy. The two countries are plagued by the same old Trump-era problems like the U.S. misjudging China-U.S. relations, misinterpreting China's development, and misleading the two peoples and the international community.

In response to these old problems, China has been addressing them and reshaping the China-U.S. great power relations at the level of strategic thinking. However, the U.S. has been playing dumb, if not being really dumb. They know China's red line on the Taiwan question, yet they are still repeatedly touching it. The U.S. is blindly confident about its own national strength, thinking that modern China's warnings are just words in the air and that the U.S. can always get away with its misdeeds.

The current political in-fighting in the United States is very complex, and Pelosi is playing a very dishonorable role as a "pawn." Both parties in the Congress are playing the China card for the upcoming mid-term elections, and both are trying to score points by playing the "Taiwan card." In the desperate attempt, Pelosi seems to stake all on one throw. Both parties are just a bunch of politicians who are thinking about the immediate interests of winning votes, while almost no one is thinking about the bigger picture and long-term interests of China and the United States.

Hence, Pelosi's "whirlwind visit" to China's Taiwan region is not an isolated case, nor will it be the last time that external forces challenge China by crossing the "red line." However, China's strong countermeasures have shown the United States, China's Taiwan region and the international community that China has the national strength and strategic will to defend its sovereignty.

The lasting endeavor aimed at the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation is not about a single battle. The rivalry with the United States won't end overnight, as it is made up of dozens or hundreds of battles like the China-U.S. trade conflict, Huawei's anti-encirclement, and the countermeasures against Pelosi's visit to Taiwan. Nevertheless, China's reunification is historically inevitable.

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