Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan has infuriated China, and citizens like me are suspicious

KAOHSIUNG, Taiwan – My 10th grade social studies class in Palo Alto, California, often broke out in groans when our teacher, Ms. Stewart, played the news she recorded the night before. On a spring day in 1996, however, video of a US aircraft carrier group heading for the Taiwan Strait caused cheers and cheers in the classroom. My American classmates knew I was from Taiwan, and there was a real feel-good quality to a friend in distress’s “cavalry coming to the rescue.”

The carrier group was ordered by President Bill Clinton because China’s government was angry a distinguished visit by then-Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui to the US had fired volley after volley into the waters off Taiwan – a sovereign state that Beijing claims is part of its territory and demands that other countries recognize it as such. Clinton’s deployment of the porters effectively ended what became known as Third cross-strait crisis.

Taiwan has been relegated to serving as a proving ground for the insecurities of the great powers.

Today, back home in Kaohsiung after a recent overseas trip to Germany, my feelings were decidedly more mixed than almost three decades ago when I saw a television screen showing another dramatic development in Taiwan: the image of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s plane landing in Taipei is contrasted with the Chinese Communist Party’s thinly veiled warnings of imminent retaliation.

As a university professor of international affairs in Taiwan, I couldn’t have been more excited. The visit will certainly stimulate new geopolitical developments for my students to discuss. These discussions will examine the strong response expected from China and whether Pelosi’s visit marks a climax Pro-Taiwan politics began in the Trump administration signaling a shift in current US attitude of “ambiguity” how it would respond to a Chinese attack on Taiwan, or one where the US makes a definitive commitment to defend us.

But both of these dynamics demonstrate the dilemma of Pelosi’s visit. Yes, it is a strong signal of US support for Taiwan. But whether the symbolism means anything concrete in political terms is more difficult to ascertain, and its benefits may well be outweighed by the other side of the equation: how China interprets them. Should Beijing see the visit as a signal of US support for changing Taiwan’s ambiguous international status towards formal independence, China could respond aggressively, for example by isolate us economically or through provocative demonstrations of military force.


Despite this danger, Taiwanese politicians are a deterrent across the political spectrum have expressed their support for Pelosi’s visit. Personally, I’m rather ambivalent. Substantial US support is indeed welcome and appreciated. On the surface, Pelosi’s declaration upon landing is that the US is a “Unwavering Commitment to Supporting Taiwan’s Vibrant Democracy” shows solidarity against a common threat. But why does it have to come when US-China relations are already strained? Could Pelosi’s visit trigger a fourth cross-strait crisis?

During my recent trip to Germany where my friends are concerned how they heat their houses this winter after Interruption of gas supplies from Russia Due to Western opposition to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, I have been asked repeatedly if the people of Taiwan are concerned that China may invade to claim the island by force – that China is recovering from Russian President Vladimir Putin’s attack on the Ukraine would inspire and use liquid situation in Europe to make a move.

While I don’t think a Chinese attack or penalty is imminent, Pelosi’s arrival makes me think of the fear and vulnerability that Taiwan, like Ukraine, constantly faces.

Taiwan has been relegated to serving as a proving ground for insecurities of the great power. China must show its determination to punish Taiwan over this visit, while the US would not back down by canceling the visit purely because of Chinese rhetoric. Both sides are pointing fingers at and blaming escalating tensions, while Taiwan has come uncomfortably in the middle.

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Still, it should be noted that the Taiwanese have a long history of living near China without succumbing to its threats. Because only those who know their opponents can reduce the probability of misjudgements. In the past, compromises were made between Taiwan and China, even in tense timesand we must remember that.

So while China’s threats to Taiwan are real, Taiwan is not Ukraine. Contrary to what some media might suggest, Taiwan is not most dangerous place on earth. Taiwan’s economy and the relatively free movement of people and goods with China indicate this high interdependence. people in Taiwan don’t get angry about China’s threats; they are likely more worried about inflation as a military attack. Unfortunately, false prophecies can fuel our darkest fears – ironically, they increase the likelihood of them coming true.

Ultimately, it is up to the Taiwanese rather than US politicians to chart our course with China. Pelosi’s call for solidarity can best be realized in the US, with Congress passing substantive legislation that would allow Taiwan to thrive while maintaining peace in the Indo-Pacific region, but keeping it well-armed with credible deterrents to go too Flexibility in dealing with Beijing. support that strengthens Taiwan’s reputation It is also useful to include them as an independent member of international forums and help promote their economic, technological and governance skills.

But it is the Taiwanese people who will pay the price when things get out of hand due to calculation or miscalculation. After the departure of Pelosi’s delegation, Chinese President Xi Jinping’s authoritarian regime will remain in place.

We in Taiwan have chosen to confront China by our example: maintaining our democracy just a few kilometers from mainland China as a model to resist authoritarianism is a daily reminder to the communist regime in Beijing that we will not be intimidated will. This approach has proven itself to demonstrate that resistance is not futile and that the Taiwanese themselves must move on.

Related: Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan has infuriated China, and citizens like me are suspicious

Fry Electronics Team

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