Frequent consultations with Washington say a lot about the state of US-China relations. Pelosi’s visit to Taipei raises tensions again: Beijing ready to “welcome” fighter jets This will force the US to react
From our correspondent
BEIJING – Meeting by video conference, tomorrow, in between Joe Biden and Xi Jinping. This will be the fifth (and always virtual) summit between the leaders of the first and second world powers since Biden took office in January 2021. It’s true that Xi has been following strict “social distancing” for the pandemic since January. 2020 and avoids face-to-face contact with foreign rulers (he made exceptions for Putin and the other day for Indonesia’s Joko Widodo), but The occasional consultation with Washington says a lot about the state of US-China relations.
Nevertheless, the personal relationship between the two countries’ politicians is longstanding: in 2009 Barack Obama deepened his relationship with then-Vice President Biden and Xi Jinping, who was still second-in-command to China; Contacts continued when he became general secretary of the Communist Party in autumn 2012. The American politician who has spent the most time with Xi is Biden, who has hosted him in the United States and met him a total of 11 times in China.
Amidst all that direct, intimate talk, there are a few things that don’t get attention: In November 2021, in a video call, The Chinese leader greeted the US president with a smile as “Lao Peng Yu”, an “old friend”.. This is an important expression of Mandarin etiquette: it is reserved for powerful people who have established a relationship of respect over many years.
However, in recent months, New documents full of disagreements and crises piled up in the Oval Office and the Zhongnanhai (The bastion of power where Xi resides with the Chinese leadership).
They were practical Donald Trump’s Trade TariffsAlthough Biden is considering the idea of reducing them (to try to calm inflation weighing on American consumers). High tension over human rights abuses in Xinjiang. Civil liberties have been severely curtailed in Hong Kong. And then the upheaval created by the Russian adventure in Ukraine, days after which Xi and Putin declared cooperation “without limits.”
And it has flared up again in the past few days The case of Taiwan.
A planned visit (though not officially announced) by Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Beijing has threatened to retaliate, with strong reactions: Chinese diplomats in Washington are said to have considered Using Red Star fighter jets to “guard” or intercept Ms. Pelosi’s flight to Taipei Airport.
America’s third corporate office would be a hostage in the skies of the Communist Air Force. There is also talk of a naval blockade of the Straits.
These are scary assumptions for the Pentagon, which is already committed to standing up to Putin’s military (by sending weapons to the Ukrainians).. “The Pelosi mission is not a good idea,” according to Washington generals, according to Biden.
However, only the White House can advise against pro-democracy work in these circumstances. Of course he can’t stop it, and already the president’s comment about Pelosi’s bad idea seemed a sign of weakness and caving in to the Chinese.
But in Beijing, they do not accept that it is in force in the US and the West The sacred principle of separation of legislative and executive powers. It’s not enough for the Chinese to know that Biden has sent National Security Adviser Jack Sullivan to explain to members of Congress the dangers of a move to support Taiwan.
Also, Joe Biden took cues from the war in Ukraine and assured the Chinese that he would not stand by if they took military action against Taiwan. He said this on many occasions It would commit US military might to defend the democratic island from an invasion attempt (Seeing from Beijing will be reunified). Each time, White House and Pentagon officials corrected the president, saying that U.S. policy on Taipei had not changed: There is only one China, and it is ruled by the Communist Party in Beijing. The Americans always hide behind strategic ambiguity: this time Taiwan’s security is ensured by sending sophisticated weapons systems, not “American boots on the field”.
However, the Chinese, faced with the hypothesis of a third U.S. landing in Taiwan, are prepared to face the crisis in the dark.
Moving planes and ships to encourage Nancy Pelosi’s trip will prompt Biden to defend the Speaker of the House. This would be the second front of the global crisis, which would at least immediately overwhelm the global stock markets.
It is to be hoped that in tomorrow’s conversation both the old friends will speak rationally with the necessary restraint and foresight.
But Xi cannot be trusted to back down on the Taiwan issue.
When they last spoke, in March, G offered Biden an old adage of Mandarin wisdom: “He who ties a noose around a tiger’s neck must take it off.” In the case of Taiwan, the upheaval metaphor is that the current problem (Pelosi’s arrival) was created by the United States and now has an obligation to solve it.
Jul 27, 2022 (Change Jul 27, 2022 | 11:45 am)
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