Heightened tensions in the Taiwan Strait after Pelosi’s visit. – The Organization for World Peace

Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, made headlines this week with a historic visit to Taiwan as part of her Asia tour. Although the visit lasted just under a day, the ramifications were widespread for peace in the Taiwan Strait. The heavily criticized move prompted Beijing to aggressively reiterate its ‘one China policy’ by carrying out large-scale drills using live missiles, with more than 100 planes and ten warships circling the island. after Pelosi’s visit.

Pelosi is the highest ranking US official to visit Taiwan in more than 20 years and has received furious condemnation from the PRC. Zheng Zeguang, China’s ambassador to the UK, warned against any further “violations” stating that “those who play with fire will be burned. Criticism of the visit has been widespread as many seek to restore peaceful relations between the two nations. The G7 foreign ministers warned against China “destabilizing the region” and urged resolving tensions through “peaceful means”. These sentiments were echoed by Kung Phaok, Secretary of Cambodia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, speaking on behalf of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, who said the group hoped that all parties to the conflict would defuse tensions.

Pelosi’s visit upsets the delicate balance between China and Taiwan, an unstable relationship that has existed since the establishment of self-governing democracy. The United States has always remained neutral on the issue, and Pelosi’s decision to recognize Taiwan reflects a broader deterioration in US-China relations. The previous Trump administration was notorious for blaming China for America’s economic woes, as well as unfairly linking the nation to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. However, the current administration also threw its hat in the ring regarding the issue, with Biden reaffirming in May this year that the United States was prepared to use force to protect Taiwan in the event of a conflict.

Also note the context of the Chinese aggression. In recent years, Xi Jinping has seen his economic policy and his covid prevention strategy fail. The patriotic “reunification” of Taiwan and China would see stronger support for the president and divert attention from a faltering GDP growth rate and lingering covid crisis. Additionally, a Chinese-controlled Taiwan would serve as a geographically strategic military base, increasing China’s influence in the South China Sea and preventing any potential threat to its coastline.

In an opinion piece published in the Washington Post a few days before his visit, Pelosi defended his plan of action, citing the numerous human rights abuses that have occurred in China, including the “brutal crackdown” of Pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong and the horrible treatment. of the Uyghur people. In a statement shortly after landing, Pelosi stressed the importance of standing with the people of Taiwan and spoke of the choice between “democracy and autocracy”.

However, Pelosi’s democratic sentiments appear to have only increased the likelihood of the autocratic future she warns against. During her visit, screens at Taiwanese train stations and computer screens at 7-11 convenience stores were hacked to display messages calling her a “warmonger”. Taiwanese officials have expressed concerns that the military drills will simulate invasion tactics. Additionally, Chinese aggression has begun to encroach on neighboring states, with Japan claiming that at least five missiles have landed in its exclusive economic zone.

There is no doubt that Taiwan’s democracy deserves international recognition, but the situation is unstable. Prioritizing the security of civilians requires thinking about peaceful negotiation that recognizes the effect of potentially dangerous symbolic gestures. Regardless of Pelosi’s intention, the visit only increased the risk for the 23 million Taiwanese citizens who live with a constant threat of invasion.

Aubrey L. Morgan