America's grunts are faintest roars of a dying power
Azhar Azam
U.S. Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi speaks during a bill enrollment ceremony in her ceremonial office in Washington, D.C., August 9, 2022. /CFP

U.S. Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi speaks during a bill enrollment ceremony in her ceremonial office in Washington, D.C., August 9, 2022. /CFP

Editor's note: Azhar Azam works in a private organization as a market and business analyst and writes about geopolitical issues and regional conflicts. The article reflects the author's opinions and not necessarily those of CGTN.

The U.S. has been trying to engineer a catastrophe across the Taiwan Strait in the past few weeks. The U.S. congressional delegation's recent visit, led by Senator Edward Markey, to China's Taiwan region is another extremely dangerous action for it is inconsistent with the one-China principle, and provokes Beijing by challenging Chinese sovereignty.

The strategically unwise move will be in the soup given China's vastly improved military capabilities and the sheer Chinese determination to make no compromise on Taiwan, an issue linked to the country's territorial integrity unlike the conventional economic or trade relations.

America's international ambitions are driven by avarice of global economic and strategic dominance, using power projection as a tool to achieve covert objectives outside the U.S. borders, territories and possessions. 

Power projection isn't a Chinese characteristic. But when someone like the U.S. keeps threatening China's territorial integrity, the onus of responsibility to protect national sovereignty shifts to the Chinese military. The recent live drills manifested the same commitment and ended after testing troops' combat capabilities.

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, whose visit to China's Taiwan region in a military jet was a blatant provocation and threat to China's national jurisdiction, exclaimed "We cannot allow the Chinese government to isolate Taiwan." The statement is fundamentally incorrect; it's the Chinese military that is professionally bound to thwart any efforts to carve out Taiwan from the China.

As long as the U.S. continues to challenge China's sovereignty or supports "Taiwan independence," China's security forces will come into play to safeguard the national domain. It's immaterial whether this defensive posture is seen as "significant escalation" or raises concerns for U.S. President Joe Biden in the post-Pelosi visit situation.

America's dangerous and reckless action necessitated an immediate and strong counteraction. Responding to U.S. disregard of Chinese representations and protesting Pelosi's trip, China suspended or terminated a series of bilateral cooperation channels involving military-to-military talks, climate change, transnational crime, legal assistance in criminal matters and anti-narcotics.

Washington quickly called the holdup of exchanges on combating narcotics including illicit fentanyl trafficking "unacceptable." This was largely because the U.S. felt the move would weaken its response to the fentanyl-led opioid crisis, which – according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention – took 107,622 American lives in 2021. Yet the Biden administration cannot blame Beijing, for it ignored China's stern warnings and led with its chin.

Climate change is another issue in which the U.S. has been seeking cooperation from China. Despite the U.S. trade war to contain the world's second largest economy and Biden's criticism, Beijing helped produce the joint Glasgow Declaration. Again, China's willingness to work with the U.S. was taken for granted by the U.S. president who looked to use this rare collaboration to boost his climate agenda in domestic politics.

Pelosi's Taiwan visit could ruin Biden's midterm election campaign just a few months ahead of the all-important United Nations' COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt as he travels across the country to tout his climate and other legislative measures.

The suspension of this dialogue may complicate the U.S. clean energy transition, for the country is highly dependent on Chinese technology exports of renewable energy. This, however, in no way means Beijing has walked away from its climate change promises.

The U.S. has made a gross intervention in China's Taiwan affairs and has breached the decades-long commitment by attempting to contort its one-China principle. As a result, these deterrent countermeasures to defend Chinese national sovereignty have drawn support from a number of world states, which see it as an interference in China's internal affairs by external forces.

Joint military exercises of the Chinese People's Liberation Army in the seas and airspace around Taiwan island, August 3, 2022. /CFP

Joint military exercises of the Chinese People's Liberation Army in the seas and airspace around Taiwan island, August 3, 2022. /CFP

Alarmed by the provocative visits, several countries have reaffirmed their backing for China's sovereignty and territorial integrity with some U.S. allies striking a restrained tone on Pelosi's Taiwan trip. Quite a few states have already broken off their diplomatic ties with Taiwan, declaring it an "undoubted part" of China.

Pelosi did nothing for the peace and stability in the region, something the regional countries looked for; her visit instead was a drumbeat of divergence and instability. As the U.S. military conducts about 100 military exercises in waters around China every year, Chinese defensive, economic and political responses cannot be termed as overreaction.

Washington's persistent interventionism and bouts of insanity to exploit tensions to its advantage is driving countries to take initiatives on their own. The UN-brokered deal in Turkey between Russia and Ukraine to resume exports of grain through the Black Sea is one such example, urging Washington to get back to diplomacy and talk to Russia.

On Taiwan, Biden is messing things up by demanding China not unilaterally change the status quo of the island and also allowing U.S. lawmakers to arrive, stoke tensions and vamoose from Taiwan on an American government plane with his administration "supporting" Taiwan's "self-defense." This is where the U.S. is fiddling with Chinese sovereignty. As Taiwan has never been a country and is a part of China, its status quo is the same as Beijing's.

Taiwan, in fact, is a unilateral issue that doesn't require any bilateral, multilateral mechanisms or the U.S. advice to peacefully resolve cross-Strait differences. When it comes to safeguarding national integrity, these channels  – as well as the U.S. new provocations including keeping the USS Ronald Reagan stationed in the Philippines Sea, east of Taiwan and the U.S. Congressional delegation's visit – hardly matter.

Taiwan belongs to China and America's grunts are just the faintest roars of a dying power.

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