America's open wounds are going septic, and Taiwan is no cure
First Voice
Trying to patch up America's domestic division by playing up the Taiwan question is futile. /CGTN

Trying to patch up America's domestic division by playing up the Taiwan question is futile. /CGTN

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Less than two weeks after U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to China's Taiwan region, another group of U.S. lawmakers landed on the island on August 14. Led by Senator Ed Markey, a bipartisan five-member congressional delegation is conducting an unannounced two-day visit to "reaffirm the United States' support for Taiwan" and "encourage stability and peace across the Taiwan Strait."

Back in May, former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger warned that "The United States should not by subterfuge or by a gradual process develop something of a 'two-China solution'" and that the Taiwan question "cannot be the core of the negotiations because it is between China and the United States." It seems that U.S. politicians have decided not to heed the warning.

Then, again, why would they? It is in their personal best interests to raise the tension in the Taiwan Strait.

Since earlier this year, the United States has been dealing with one crisis after another – with few being effectively resolved. The Ukraine conflict has exacerbated rising energy and consumer prices to the American people. The inflation rate topped 9.1 percent in June, the highest in three decades. Mass shootings are a norm now. According to the Gun Violence Archive, there were 311 cases of mass shootings with more than 22,300 people dying from gun violence in the first half of 2022. The Supreme Court is colliding with the public, with justices appointed by an unpopular president making decisions that contradict the will of the majority of Americans. 

Oh and, the FBI under a Democratic administration has raided the former Republican president's home. Donald Trump said in a video that "we are a nation that in many ways has become a joke."

Former U.S. President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S. /Reuters

Former U.S. President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S. /Reuters

America's open wounds are going septic, and it's no joke, in fact. As Joe Biden's approval rating hovers around 40 percent and with the midterm election in sight, it doesn't take much to imagine the political chaos combined with national stagnation that will take place in the next several months. And the politicians, whether they sincerely want to fix this or not, are trapped in the unquenchable urge to save their own jobs.

So on to Taiwan, then. If you play with fire, you'll get burn. But these short-sighted and self-centered officials think they would look cool if they succeeded in pulling the chestnuts out of the fire. Bonnie Glaser, the director of the Asia program at the German Marshal Fund, pointed out that "many congressmen want to visit (Taiwan) to show U.S. support." While waving their hands in front of cameras to show off their self-assumed importance on the international stage, they are burning down the "strategic ambiguity" long held by the U.S. government and the cornerstone of peace in the Taiwan Strait over the past decades.

Like Pelosi's show, the United States needs to bear all the responsibility for the tension in the Taiwan Strait and suffer the consequences caused by these lawmakers' visit. There will be countermeasures – military, political, economic or otherwise – to punish this kind of behavior. More importantly, to U.S. politicians who choose to ignore problems in their own country and risk a military conflict just for the sake of their own election, more stringent and deterrent moves will have to be imposed to prevent escalation. The China-U.S. relationship is too important to be brought down by the sentiment of the time and temporary political convenience for certain officials. China isn't afraid of going toe-to-toe against the United States, but it has no intention of letting the relationship between the world's two largest economies go down without a fight.

And for those politicians who want to take advantage of the situation for their own electoral agenda, it's time to be clear-eyed eyed and see that the Taiwan question is a political issue that far exceeds their capabilities. This is the most sensitive national sovereignty issue for China. Maybe the anti-China sentiment in the U.S. still remains strong. But burning it down is definitely not going to help those politicians keep their jobs.

America has no shortage of problems. Americans don't need and can't have China as their enemy. Members of Congress, heed that!

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