The reckless trip made by Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the US House of Representatives, to China’s Taiwan region on Aug. 2 and her blatant interactions with the island’s separatist forces made international headlines, seriously infringing upon China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. A severe violation of the one-China principle and provisions of the three China-US joint communiques, it gravely undermines peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, escalating tensions in the Asia-Pacific region.
It is obvious that Pelosi’s decision serves as part of her design to elevate her own political image. It also comes out of the outdated Cold-War mentality displayed by some US politicians, revealing serious failures of the US government in general, which manifest themselves in all of America’s distorted domestic and foreign policies that go against the wishes of people around the world.
US politicians’ obsession with China: the root cause
Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan unveils the extremely distorted yet long-standing prejudices and biases held by American politicians against China and China’s ideology.
Take Nancy Pelosi as an example. Over her 35-year political career in Washington, Pelosi has been relentlessly exploiting China-related debates for attention and, by smearing China, taking steps up the political ladder, eventually landing herself in the position as the second in presidential line for succession. Her first two years in politics were all but silent, and her clout only started to soar after she began seizing every opportunity to vilify China and urging the Bush administration to turn its back on China. In 2019, amid the escalating tensions between China and the US, Nancy Pelosi worked hard to promote anti-China legislation. Today, foreseeing imminent failure in the mid-term elections, she resorts to her classic tricks, attempting to include this notorious trip to Taiwan in her so-called ‘political legacy’, which lays bare her selfishness and disregard of the interests of all.
Interestingly, US politicians like Nancy Pelosi, whose view of China is so seriously misguided, often draw more attention and are granted access to better political resources. Marco Rubio and Mike Pompeo are just another two examples. Such politicians will go all out to strengthen their power and influence by taking advantage of the prejudices and biases stemming from the Cold War era, despite the fact that such irresponsible propaganda may lead to detrimental impacts on the stability and prosperity of their own country as well as the world.
The inevitable decline of US politics: the catalyst
The fact that Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan serves only her own interest is without doubt. More ulterior entanglement involved in such attempts, however, has become the new norm in US politics.
For a long time, the US military has been touting support for Taiwan, yet what they are really selling are arms that allow them to profit heavily. Meanwhile, the separatist forces on the island are running to bribe US politicians with money. The Formosan Association for Public Affairs, which is inextricably involved in such connections and has built systematic channels to ensure such covert exchanges, provides a typical example. Personal profits and the ambition of relevant US blocs to defeat China’s mainland in technological competitions are what really driving US meddling in China’s domestic affairs, those regarding Taiwan included.
At the same time, unable to respond to the need of the public effectively, US politicians are desperately trying to divert people’s attention to international conflicts, inciting hatred against China and brazenly selling the rhetoric of “China Threat,” such farces climaxing normally during election seasons. But those tricks will surely do nothing to help the pressing crises in America’s failing politics. In this way, the US will only earn itself the reputation as the worst disruptive force of the world order.
Bankrupt international reputation to accelerate US decline
What Pelosi’s trip further uncovers is America’s declining international status and grim prospects.
In recent years, by promoting narratives like “Great-power Rivalries” and “China Threat,” US politicians are trying to utilize the Cold-War mentality to paint China as a Soviet-like “external threat” in order to soothe domestic tensions. But this will have detrimental consequences, especially after America’s unilateral betrayal by the Pelosi trip of the “Four Nos and One Without” pledge, which promises that the US will never support the independence of Taiwan. Pelosi’s trip severely discredited her country on the international stage, eventually leading to an accelerated decline of America’s image around the world.
Contributed by Diao Daming, an associate professor of international relations at Renmin University of China
Translated by Wang Jinhong