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Post Pelosi in Taiwan: An Outrageous Provocation
Created by John Eipper on 08/05/22 4:14 AM

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Pelosi in Taiwan: An Outrageous Provocation (Cameron Sawyer, USA, 08/05/22 4:14 am)

Consoly León Arias wrote on August 4th: "The disproportionate nature of Beijing's reaction [to Pelosi's Taiwan visit] demonstrates the aggressiveness of a regime that considers itself entitled to veto diplomatic visits by other countries to independent nations such as Taiwan.

"Pelosi has the right to visit Taiwan, without needing to justify herself to China and its government."

This post, like a lot of what we are reading in the press these days, seems to be based on a misunderstanding of the nature of the situation between Taiwan and the PRC.

Consoly refers to Taiwan, which calls itself the Republic of China, as "an independent nation"; but that is not what Taiwan is. The ROC Constitution considers Taiwan to be an integral part of China, not a country independent from China. The ROC government, therefore, is not a separate "independent nation," but a rival government to the PRC government, claiming sovereignty over all of China.

So Pelosi is not visiting some "independent nation," but a territory which is considered by both the PRC and by the Taiwanese as an integral part of China. The US formally recognized the PRC as the legitimate government of China (without saying whether or not it recognizes the PRC's claim to Taiwan) on 1 January 1979, joining practically the entire rest of the world. Only 18 nations, the largest of which appears to be Paraguay, recognize the ROC to be a sovereign nation. Not the US, not Japan, and not a single European country. Our official policy is that the two rival governments should work out some kind of accommodation themselves, and peacefully (and I support this policy). Pelosi's acts do not further that policy.

So "visiting an independent nation" is not what Pelosi is doing; she's visiting a rebel part of China, a rival government to the one we recognize and deal with. Of course it's an outrageous provocation, an extremely foolish publicity stunt, of a piece with our outrageously arrogant foreign policy. She's simply tweaking the nose of the PRC government and looking "tough" in front of voters ahead of the upcoming midterm elections.

There is nothing in common between this case and Ukraine, so there will be no "Ukraine II," pace JE. Ukraine's independence in 1991 was recognized by the whole world, including Russia. China will eventually take back Taiwan, and we will do nothing about it, even less than we did about the Ukrainian invasion. All this huffing and puffing by the likes of Nancy Pelosi is just a political stunt, the kind of thing which will merely accelerate China's intervention in Taiwan.

JE comments:  By Ukraine II, I meant an invasion, pure and simple.  If Putin prevails in Ukraine--or more specifically, if the West allows him to get away with it--how could the PRC not see this as a green light?  Even if Taiwan is constitutionally part of the Mainland, it has been independent in practice since 1949--far longer than Ukraine has.

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