Pelosi Playing With Fire Could Start a New “Cold War” By Fahd Gauhar Malik

Pelosi Playing With Fire Could Start a New “Cold War” By Fahd Gauhar Malik

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is expected to land in Taiwan on Tuesday evening despite severe notices from Beijing. China issued a warning on Monday that its military would “not sit idly by” should United States House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visit Taiwan.

“The Chinese side is completely ready for any eventuality,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a press briefing conference on Monday. “China will undoubtedly take strong and resolute measures to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

Chinese Foreign Ministry Zhao Lijian addressing a press conference
The news of Pelosi’s secret trip to Taiwan sent shockwaves through Beijing, marking the highest-level official U.S. visit to Taiwan in decades.

In the eyes of National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby, then-Speaker Newt Gingrich traveled to Taiwan in 1997, and lower-level legislators have traveled as recently as this year — and U.S. foreign policy on Taiwan is unchanged. It is also important to note the balance of powers between the USA and China at the time was not equal, and despite that China reacted strongly by sending multiple aircraft across the Taiwan Strait’s median line.

However, the Chinese government acknowledges that Gingrich had three days of meetings in Beijing before stopping in Taipei. It is concerning for China’s diplomatic channels as Nancy Pelosi holds the third most important/influential position in the US government, and despite the several warnings issued over the past week, she is ready to visit Taiwan, according to various media outlets.

During a telephonic exchange with US President Joe Biden last week, President Xi Jinping said that “it is the firm will of the more than 1.4 billion Chinese people to resolutely safeguard China’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity”. The will of the people cannot be defied and those who play with fire will perish by it, Xi said.

In the event of Speaker Nancy Pelosi realizing her statements and traveling to Taiwan on Tuesday night, the probability of a new cold war will increase exponentially. Several senior defense and political analysts suggest there is simply no reason for Pelosi to visit Taiwan, except to show her own personal solidarity. It is a selfish motive and does not benefit the USA in any way, according to Daniel Depetris who writes for the Times.

Interestingly enough, the Biden administration appears to understand just how contentious Pelosi’s trip would be in the eyes of Chinese officials. President Biden stated outright that the “military thinks it’s not a good idea right now,” and the Pentagon is so worried about possible Chinese military exercises that it plans to boost forces in the region.

There are rising suspicions among Xi and China’s top leadership about Washington backing off from the “One China” policy, which categorically refutes Taiwanese sovereignty, and acknowledges the People’s Republic of China as the rightful government of China. The reason for this suspicion is simple; the more U.S officials that visit Taiwan, the larger military support via arms packages only worsen the ongoing tensions between the two global superpowers.

Chinese media outlets such as Global Times have suggested the People’s Liberation Army would react quickly and aggressively to a Pelosi trip, conceivably by sending warplanes right over Taiwan.

Biden said in May that Washington would intervene to defend Taiwan in any attack from China, although the White House later clarified he meant the US would provide weapons, in accordance with existing agreements.

In the last 4 decades, before the Trump era, the US-China relationship was based on a well-established and profound mutual understanding and consideration for each other’s policies currently is very little, or perhaps at their lowest. The barriers that deterred the relationship from abruptly shifting off course are no longer in place, as we have seen over the last week. Alarmingly, there is an increasing power vacuum in the US. Till the last minute, Biden was not informed of Pelosi’s decision to visit Taiwan. It is noted on two separate occasions his deputies intervened to reassure the media that had to redefine his indication that the US would come to Taiwan’s defense in the event of Chinese military action.

Ultimately, there will be zero benefits to the global status-quo, and escalation of these conflicts would result in a devastating cold war, worsening the already tarnished world economy. We can expect multiple economic sanctions, embargoes, or worse; a military conflict that would cause a catastrophic impact globally. China has maintained a pacifistic approach when it comes to conflicts, however, in the last 30 years, experts believe that their patience is becoming thin with continuous violations of global affairs by the US.

Pelosi Playing With Fire Could Start a New “Cold War” By Fahd Gauhar Malik


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