Speaker’s visit to the island against Beijing’s opposition is like China sending troops to Puerto Rico
Senior US officials have dismissed the possible visit to Taiwan by the Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi as of no significance and stated that if China acts to oppose it, the ensuing conflict would be Beijing’s fault. But researcher Tim Anderson told RT, the move appears to be a pre-planned provocation meant to trigger a major confrontation with China.
“They say ‘this is China’s war’ as they said Ukraine was Russia’s war,” he said, referring to Moscow’s failed effort to get security guarantees from the US before it launched a military attack against its neighbor in late February.
Anderson, who heads a think tank promoting anti-imperialism research called the Centre for Counter Hegemonic Studies, considers Pelosi’s trip as an obvious American ploy. Some US politicians are feeling “jealous” about China’s rise and are willing to sacrifice any benefits that America reaps from trade with the country to try to undermine Beijing, he said.
Pelosi “is going in there with a military escort, there are a number of large warships going with her,” he noted, referring to the reported deployment by the US Navy to ensure the safety of the congressional delegation.
Considering that Washington formally recognized Taiwan as part of China, the move can be considered a “military incursion” into Chinese territory, Anderson suggested.
“Imagine if the Chinese military went into Puerto Rico or some other part of the US territories. It’s unacceptable, and I can’t say that any good would come out of it,” he said.
It remains to be seen what China’s reaction will be to Pelosi’s trip, but the more alarming predictions of open hostilities breaking out between the two nations over Taiwan are unlikely to come true, Hong Kong-based China strategist Andrew Leung told RT.
“China does not have 100% confidence it would prevail over Taiwan [militarily] until at least a couple of years [from now],” he said, citing recent assessments of Chinese military power. Anti-China politicians in the US may hope that Beijing would do “something rash” in response to Pelosi’s trip, but the Chinese government wouldn’t fall for it, Leung expects.
Both China and the US are to undergo sensitive transitions of power this year, he pointed out, so neither government would want a shooting war and both would like to score political points by playing tough with the other. Pelosi in particular is risking her speaker’s gavel, if the midterm elections in the US deprive the Democratic party of its majority in the House, so she may have a personal interest in poking at China, the expert said.