Monday, 1 August 2022

“As Xi Jinping warns Joe Biden on Taiwan, history of ‘yao guan’ shows US cannot laugh off China’s intentions” | SCMP

In today's world riven with great geopolitical uncertainties, people seldom agree on anything. One of the few things literally everyone can agree on is that ties between China and the United States, perhaps the world's most consequential bilateral relationship, are at their lowest point since the countries re-established diplomatic ties in the 1970s.

As Beijing and Washington openly spar over a wide range of issues from trade to technology to human rights, people wonder if the relationship can get any worse. Well, it can.

Despite China's repeated warnings, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appears to be pushing ahead with a controversial visit to Taiwan. She has not confirmed the trip reportedly scheduled for early August but media reports on Thursday indicated that her office began inviting other lawmakers to travel with her to the island.

Over the past week, spokespeople from China's foreign ministry and ministry of national defence have warned that a visit by Pelosi would cross "a red line" and be met with "forceful measures".

Wang Xiangwei is no Beijing apologist. He has been robust in criticism of China policies, like its Zero-Covid policy which is something like a religion at upper levels of apparatchikery. So, sounding alarm over Pelosi's I'll-considered plan to visit Taiwan, we should take seriously. Trouble is, of course, that she's painted herself into a corner. How does she cancel Taiwan without upsetting her domestic supporters?  Even the US Military has urged her to cancel.