Editor's note: U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's provocative visit to China's Taiwan region, despite China's stern warnings, has drawn international condemnation. Significantly, Pelosi is also facing a backlash at home. What will be the fallout in China-U.S. bilateral ties, which are already at a low point? When the world is already going through a rough patch dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. and the Russia- Ukraine crisis, what the timing of the trip implies? Calla Walsh, an American peace and anti-war youth activist, shares her insights on Pelosi's visit to Taiwan. The opinions expressed in the video are her own and not necessarily the views of CGTN.
CGTN: With China-U.S. tensions at historic highs, what do you make of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's decision, and its geopolitical fallout?
Walsh: I think that Pelosi's visit to Taiwan can only be seen as a dangerous and reckless provocation to China and an escalation in the United States' Cold War against China. And I think that is shown by the fact that a majority of people in Taiwan oppose her reckless visit because it endangered the entire region. And I think this resembles a pattern in U.S. foreign policy, where the U.S. claims that they are acting in support of the people of Taiwan, acting in their best interest, when really they are using them as cannon fodder in their campaign of aggression against China and their military expansion, and their never-ending seeking of war profiteering, and benefiting the military industrial complex in the U.S.
This resembles their policy in Ukraine, where the U.S. does not care about the people of Ukraine. They're just using them as cannon fodder in their geopolitical games against Russia and any threat really to unipolar U.S. hegemony. So I think Nancy Pelosi's trip can only be understood as extremely dangerous for all the people who are interested in a peaceful world.
CGTN: In 1972, the U.S. made a clear commitment in the Shanghai Communique that "the United States acknowledges that all Chinese on either side of the Taiwan Strait maintain there is but one China and that Taiwan is a part of China. The United States Government does not challenge that position." So why is it so difficult for a lot of people in the U.S. to understand that Pelosi's visit is indeed a violation of the one-China principle?
Walsh: I think it's bizarre that Nancy Pelosi can go visit Taiwan and meet with separatists and support hundreds of millions of dollars in arms sales to separatists, while at the same time claiming she is not violating the one-China principle. That is completely incomprehensible. But of course, the U.S. has a pattern of saying one thing and doing the other.
I think that it is also a matter of a misunderstanding in regular Americans of the role that China plays in the world. Unfortunately, the U.S. Congress allocates tens of millions of dollars a year to anti-China journalism, and many Americans are getting news about "Taiwan being in danger," "Taiwan being under attack from China," and aren't even aware that the U.S. government's own position is that Taiwan is part of China, which of course goes to benefit the United States which is counting on its people to know and understand as little as possible about China, so that they can understand China as the enemy.
I mean, for the past 40 years, China has lifted 800 million people out of poverty, while the United States has launched genocidal wars and interventions and invasions across the globe, letting millions of people wallow in poverty domestically. So there's misinformation and propaganda that contributes to the understanding of China as the enemy and the U.S. as the good guy, when clearly exactly the opposite is the case.
CGTN: China has retaliated by cancelling several different meetings and suspending key climate talks with the United States. Beijing has also announced sanctions on Nancy Pelosi and her immediate family members. Your comments?
Walsh: In regard to sanctions on Pelosi and her family members, Pelosi, like many members of Congress, is a multimillionaire who benefits greatly from stocks trading, from investing in exploitative companies like Amazon and others. And I think it is quite ironic that her visit, which cost U.S. taxpayers, like $70 million, is now going to negatively benefit her and her husband's stock investing and trading. Well, they're already under scrutiny for some insider trading deals, and other sketchy business. She's also abdicating her responsibility to address problems domestically to use her power as a Democratic House leader.
And the fallout with China is going to hurt Americans and Chinese people and the entire world when the two biggest economies are not cooperating on important issues like climate and like immigration. So again, this just shows how her words are completely backfiring, and her actions actually have the opposite consequences of what she is claiming them to do, and it is hurting all working people. But again, she and the United States’ ruling class don't really care, because to them, it is worth it to pursue this aggression against China.
CGTN: What do you think of the timing of the trip that has now triggered yet another geopolitical conflict at a time when the world is already going through a rough patch dealing with a global pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine crisis?
Walsh: I think it is atrocious. We are in such a fragile state in the U.S. domestically and in the entire world. And this just shows how the U.S. ruling classes are willing to start yet another conflict using this strategy of trying to indirectly provoke other countries to take action, so then they can point the fingers and say, "Oh, they're the aggressors." It is more a testament to how advanced the U.S. empire's "Imperial War Machine" is, where they can go about creating these devastating conflicts with the worldwide impacts, not only militarily, but as we're seeing with rising food prices, with food shortages and fuel shortages that are having devastating impacts for working people inside the U.S., in the West, in the Global South, everywhere.
So this timing shows that the U.S. is desperate – empire is in decline. And the U.S. knows that China is much stronger and drive more rising power than they are, because they [China] are actually built on a sustainable model of development and an investment directly in the people. So I think this is another showing of empire in decline and desperation, as the U.S. is trying to cling on to their unipolar hegemony, when clearly it is already too late, and a multipolar world is emerging, where China and the majority of the Global South will be on the other side.
Interviewer: Abhishek G Bhaya
Managing editor: Zhao Jingzhu
Video editor: Zhang Nan
Senior producer: Bi Jianlu, Wang Xinyan, Zhang Peijin
Supervisor: Ma Jing
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