Latest News, Local News, International News, US Politics, Economy

In Taiwan, Which Has Long Been the Epicentre of a Geopolitical Confrontation, Talk of a Possible Visit by Pelosi is Met With Shrugs

Living in Taipei has prompted Iris Hsueh to prioritise her concerns on COVID-19 restrictions, the cost of electricity, and, if she is being completely forthright, the most recent information regarding Taiwanese pop singers.

There is no mention of the possible visit by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) or the anticipated reaction from the Chinese government anywhere on that list.

The saleswoman, who was 37 years old, had a theory that everything would remain the same regardless of whether or not she showed up. “I believe China will view this as a provocation; but, I do not believe China will escalate any actual military behaviour as a result of this.”

When asked how her group of friends thinks about the impasse that has led to the deployment of a U.S. aircraft carrier group to the Taiwan Strait and China to conduct live-fire military manoeuvres, she responded by saying that she hasn’t talked to anybody about it yet.

On Saturday, Hsueh matter-of-factly expressed his opinion, saying, “I don’t think they actually care.”

As tensions rise between the two superpowers, there is a possibility of the worst crisis in the region in the last quarter of a century.

However, the people of Taiwan appear to be responding to the escalation of tensions with a collective shrug. Instead of focusing their attention on the possibility of war, they are preoccupied with things like the summer heat wave and local elections.

This is the way of life on the autonomous island with a population of 23 million that has for a very long time served as the focal point of a volatile geopolitical dispute.

When Beijing lashes out, as Chinese leader Xi Jinping did on Thursday when warning President Biden on a call that “those who play with fire will perish by it,” few seem to raise an eyebrow.

This is because the threat of Chinese military action has been looming for such a long time that few seem to notice when it occurs.

Many people in Taiwan continue to perceive Beijing’s bellicose warnings as mostly consisting of bluster, even though the invasion of Ukraine has raised anxieties about a hypothetical Chinese assault around the globe.

Yasuo Tzeng, a research fellow at the Institute for National Defense and Security Research in Taipei, stated that the Chinese Communist Party is engaging in the same old tricks.

“The Chinese Communist Party is playing the same old tricks.” They are making a big deal out of absolutely nothing.

Pelosi, who has been vocal in her criticism of China’s treatment of human rights, departed for Asia on Friday. Her travel plans take her to several countries that are allies of the United States, including Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, and Singapore.

As of the beginning of the day on Saturday, no specific plans had been disclosed regarding a stop in Taiwan. According to Biden, the Pentagon discouraged her from making the trip.

The animosity surrounding the trip is further evidence of how poorly relations between the United States and China have deteriorated in recent years and how firmly Taiwan continues to be the relationship’s most dangerous flashpoint.

Pelosi would not be the first speaker of the House to visit the island, as Republican Newt Gingrich travelled there in 1997.

Pelosi would, however, be the first Democrat to do so. However, under Xi Jinping’s leadership, China has become a lot more powerful and assertive nation than it was back then, and it is resolved to dominate Asia in a manner that is suitable for great power.

Taiwan, which is shaped like a teardrop and is roughly the same size as the state of Maryland, is positioned fewer than 100 miles off the coast of mainland China and is the primary obstacle in its path.

The Nationalist Chinese government, which had previously been defeated by the Communists in 1949 during the Chinese civil war, fled to the island, which had formerly been known as Formosa, and took control of the island.

Beijing views Taiwan to be a part of China, and after years of advocating for the peaceful unification of the two sides, it has recently warned that it will seize Taiwan by force if necessary, particularly if Taiwan formally declares its independence.

In 1979, the United States switched its diplomatic relations with Communist China. At the same time, it adopted a policy known as “one China,” which acknowledges Beijing’s claim to Taiwan but does not support that claim.

The United States gives Taiwan defensive weapons and maintains a policy known as strategic ambiguity to prevent China from invading the island.

The purpose of this policy is to keep China guessing regarding whether or not American troops will defend Taiwan if it is attacked.

The rise to power of Xi Jinping, China’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong, has made this approach more precarious, even though it has contributed to the maintenance of a peaceful status quo for more than four decades.

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Chinese Communist Party last year, Xi gave a speech in which he declared unification “a historic task and an unbreakable commitment.” Since then, Xi has attached Taiwan to his expansive plan for the revitalization of the entire nation.


A significant portion of China’s current military planning and upgrading is directed toward the eventual goal of invading the island.

The People’s Liberation Army Air Force has increased the number of sorties it has flown around Taiwan during the first half of this year by a factor of three in comparison to the same period in the previous year.

This is a strategy that is intended to provoke and wear down the air defences of the territory.

Beijing declared in June that the sea that divides China and Taiwan, also known as the Taiwan Strait, did not meet the criteria to be considered international waters.

As a result, Beijing asserted its sovereignty over the waterway and challenged the presence of the United States Navy there.

In addition, Beijing has accused the United States of muddying the waters of its “one China” policy by sending an increasing number of cabinet officials and members of congress to Taiwan.

On three separate occasions, Vice President Joe Biden has made comments that suggest the United States has abandoned strategic ambiguity by pledging to defend Taiwan through the use of force. However, each time, the administration has walked back the comments.

There are few indications that the hostility that exists between the countries that are home to the two greatest economies in the world will soon ease.

After the 20th Party Congress later this year, when it is expected that he will secure his third five-year term, Xi will have fewer constraints to deal with.

He will be the first Chinese leader to do so since Deng Xiaoping imposed two-term limits in 1982.

In an otherwise extremely polarised political environment, one of the few issues on which opposing lawmakers can find common ground is their hatred of China.

This makes it more difficult for Vice President Joe Biden to manoeuvre. On Thursday, during a call between the two leaders, there were no escape ramps given.

Taiwan is currently caught in the cycle of escalation, and its voice is frequently overshadowed by the clamour coming from both Washington and Beijing.

Even though commentators have stated that Pelosi’s appearance offers no tangible benefits to the territory and may be more trouble than it’s worth, the government led by President Tsai Ing-wen has said very little about the possibility of her visiting.

According to Shelley Rigger, a leading Taiwan expert at Davidson College, “Taiwan’s agency in the United States-Republic People’s of China-Taiwan triangle has varied over time; however, at this moment, the United States and China are the drivers.”

Rigger used the initialism for the People’s Republic of China. “The island nation of Taiwan is mired in the middle.

Rigger’s line of thought proceeded with, “Unfortunately, I do not think the Taiwanese administration is in a position to speak freely with officials from the United States.”

The United States is Taiwan’s major defender, and U.S. officials have demonstrated a significant amount of vanity and arrogance in the relationship.

Officials from Taiwan are not in a position to risk offending American leaders by pointing out the negative consequences of their decisions. This is not something that can be reasonably expected of them.

In general, Taiwan considers visits by high-level officials and legislators from the United States as a political boost for the ruling party and a demonstration of much-needed international support.

Taiwan has been placed in diplomatic limbo by Beijing to the point where it is only recognised by a few more than a dozen predominantly underdeveloped nations. During the pandemic, China was successful in blocking Taiwan’s attempt to become a member of the World Health Organization assembly.

A visit by Pelosi “would most certainly serve to inspire the people of Taiwan, essentially communicating to them that ‘you are not alone,'” “said Chen Kuan-ting, chief executive officer of the Taiwan NextGen Foundation, a think tank that is politically aligned with the Democratic Progressive Party, which is the party currently in power.

This is significant because, after Russia invades Ukraine, confidence in the United States’ willingness to protect Taiwan with military force in the event of an attack has decreased significantly.

According to the findings of a poll that was carried out by the Taiwan Public Opinion Foundation between October of last year and March of this year, the number of respondents who feel that the United States will come to the island’s assistance decreased by thirty per cent.

Many people in Taiwan believe that Pelosi cannot afford to back down because there is a fear that another cancellation (she initially postponed a trip to the territory in April after testing positive for COVID-19) will send a signal to Beijing that it is possible for Beijing to coerce and intimidate the United States government.

“The nation of Taiwan is a democratic state. Freddy Lim, a pro-independence legislator who met with Pelosi in Washington in June and pushed her to visit Taiwan, stated, “We have the right to welcome any friend who supports us.” Pelosi is currently the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Because Beijing sees a visit by Pelosi as an affront to the legitimacy of its rule over Taiwan, the Chinese capital has signalled that it will react angrily to her arrival.

Analysts believe China may respond to the congressman from the United States by imposing penalties, conducting missile tests, or, in the most aggressive option, scrambling fighters in an attempt to divert her plane.

If China’s leadership did nothing, it would give the impression that they are weak, which is an issue they face after threatening Taiwan for years.

According to Ja Ian Chong, a political scientist at the National University of Singapore, “to have the same effect of cowing the Taiwan public, Beijing is required to be more aggressive.”

This cycle may continue until either Beijing is forced to carry through with its threats or someone calls its bluff.

The last time tensions were this high in the region was in 1995, when the then-President of Taiwan, Lee Teng-hui, sparked a furore in Beijing by visiting the United States and breaking diplomatic protocol.

This visit occurred during the Taiwanese independence movement. As a form of response, China carried out a series of missile tests in the waters off the coast of Taiwan. China’s primary motivation for doing so was to send a message of caution to pro-independence groups in advance of the upcoming elections in Taiwan.

The impasse was broken when the Clinton administration sent more warships through the Taiwan Strait than had been assembled in the region since the end of the Vietnam War.

Many people in Taiwan do not anticipate the same robust response from the United States, especially now that China’s military is advanced enough to cause significant damage to the United States Navy.

But in a nation where hearing air raid sirens and participating in military drills is nothing out of the ordinary, very few people appeared to be shaken by the most recent crises.

Read more:-

A doctoral student in political science at National Taiwan University named Su Liu Di-Sheng, who is 23 years old and studies political science, remarked that “Pelosi’s visit will add to the severity of [Beijing’s] diplomatic remarks.” “However, the risk to the military has always been significant.”

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.