“Real friend or curse”: world media – about Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan

The visit of the Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan was followed by the whole world. How American, Chinese and other foreign media reacted to her trip – in the review of RBC type=”image/webp” media=”(max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)” >< source srcset="https://s0.rbk.ru/v6_top_pics/resized/590xH/media/img/9/31/756595296112319.webp 590w" type="image/webp" >

Nancy Pelosi (left)

The Washington Post, USA

“For a successful foreign policy, high principles and competent and timely execution of decisions must come together. Nancy Pelosi's visit in solidarity with Taiwan demonstrated the former, but not the latter. China, which considers Taiwan its province, has already launched expected responses, including announcing naval exercises off the island after Pelosi's visit ends. Now President Biden must repair the short-term damage and counter China's likely increasing long-term pressure on Taiwan.

We certainly share Pelosi's strong support for a democratic Taiwan, her condemnation of China's communist dictatorship, and her belief that “it's important that America and our allies make it clear that we will never give in to autocrats.” But we cannot understand her insistence on showing her support in this way and at this time, despite the warnings of her own party chairman that the geopolitical situation is already fragile enough. As much as 82-year-old Pelosi wants to create a landmark event in her career as a speaker— before the Republican Party's likely victory in November's election puts an end to it, — going to Taiwan now that President Xi Jinping is arranging his third term was unwise.

With all due respect, Biden couldn't handle the situation by blabbing that the military opposed Pelosi's visit. This mistake has prevented Pelosi from changing plans without losing face, and more importantly, it makes it harder for Xi Jinping to escalate his reaction after Pelosi's departure. It would be much more correct if the president told Peloconfidentially, personally and clearly not to do this.

Taipei Times, Taiwan

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“Brave Pelosi Bursts the Beijing Bubble”

“The Chinese Communist Party hates Pelosi for her firm support for the victims of the Tiananmen Square massacre, <…>, another moment in the party’s history when she intimidated the meek by massacring unarmed student demonstrators. Taiwan cordially welcomes Pelosi— a true friend of Taiwan and the oppressed Chinese— and comrade-in-arms in the fight against tyranny and for freedom.

China Times, Taiwan

“The peaceful and stable status quo between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait was almost destroyed by Pelosi's political show. It also gave the PLA (People's Liberation Army of China. — RBC) the right to announce that it “will conduct important military training operations and organize live firing”; in six sea areas around Taiwan. <…> Pelosi's reckless provocation completely destroyed the foundation of the past world. <…> The Pelosi Curse threatens to make Taiwan pay the price indefinitely.

The Guardian, UK

“Usually the big news is a plane crash, while taking off or landing is not news at all. But on Tuesday, a view of a US military aircraft carrying Nancy Pelosi landing at Taiwan's Songshan Airport; smoothly and without incident— was definitely news and an occasion for everyone to breathe a sigh of relief.

In this case, however, the destination is just as important as the whole journey. China claims sovereignty over Taiwan, and its belligerent reaction to the House Speaker's arrival suggests that the risk of unintended consequences remains high. For those who believe that a confrontation between the US and China over a self-governing island is one day inevitable, the speaker's provocation may have simply accelerated the course of events. <…>

Democrats around the world can thank Pelosi for speaking out against autocracy— and at the same time pray that she too can keep the peace.

The Straits Times, Singapore

“While Ms. Pelosi is not the first speaker of the House of Representatives to visit Taiwan (Newt Gingrich was there in 1997), her visit comes at a time when relations between Beijing and Washington have deteriorated sharply and China is in a much stronger economic, military and geopolitical power than a quarter of a century ago.

Guangming Ribao, China

“The visit proved the ambiguous position of the US on the Taiwan issue, it demonstrated how America contradicts itself in diplomatic philosophy and practice. The visit caused great damage to the peace around Taiwan, as well as to Sino-US relations and the world order. <…> On the one hand, they constantly claim to support the “one China” policy, on the other hand, they devalue this policy by supporting, overtly or covertly, the “Taiwan independence” forces, trying to use Taiwan to contain China. <…>

For decades, the US has used Taiwan as a pawn against China, it has never really cared about the people of Taiwan or the peaceful development of the island. One must be ready for a collision, because one day the tragic games in which the pawn is thrown out will be played again. The unrealizable dreams of gaining independence with the help of external forces will eventually lead to collapse, and pro-independence Taiwanese politicians will definitely be pilloried by history. The Chinese government and people are ready for a decisive struggle. They will never give room for Taiwan independence activism and will never allow outside forces to separate Taiwan from China. The strong will of 1.4 million Chinese is unshakable. Anyone who plays with the fire of “Taiwan independence” will end up getting burned.”

Al Jazeera, Qatar

“The tectonic shift in domestic political alignments and the regional balance of power has caused dangerous dynamics in the Taiwan Strait. On the one hand, China has become more assertive in foreign policy, especially since Xi Jinping came to power, who vowed to carry out a “great renewal of the Chinese nation.” and realize the “Chinese Dream” by turning the country into a world superpower. To this end, Xi has made it clear that he is using “all necessary means” in order to re-incorporate Taiwan into China and protect the country's territorial claims in the region. Under his leadership, China quickly developed its military capabilities, rapidly undermining America's dominance in the region.

Meanwhile, nationalism and pro-independence sentiments are gaining momentum in Taiwan. Back in the mid-1990s, more than half of the local residents identified themselves as both Chinese and Taiwanese. In 2020, a Pew Research Center poll showed that only 4% see themselves as Chinese, while two-thirds of the population define themselves strictly as Taiwanese. <…>

The problem is that even precise military maneuvers can lead to major incidents and unintentional escalation between the protagonists. And even if Pelosi's visit does not provoke a major military confrontation in the coming days, the two superpowers still face a stark choice as nationalist sentiment and the balance of power on both sides of the Taiwan Strait are rapidly shifting. The geopolitical turmoil surrounding the visit of the speaker of the US House of Representatives is likely to be the first salvo in a long and increasingly dangerous struggle for the future of Taiwan.

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