Pelosi’s Taiwan visit must be disrupted
Published: Apr 07, 2022 04:01 PM
Nancy Pelosi Photo: AFP

Nancy Pelosi Photo: AFP

According to reports from Taiwan's United Daily News, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will lead a delegation to visit Taiwan on April 10, the 43rd anniversary of the signing of the so-called "Taiwan Relations Act." If the reports are true, this will be an extremely serious event, the most serious provocation by Washington to China on the Taiwan question since the island's then regional leader Lee Teng-hui visited the US in 1996. 

Then US House Speaker Newt Gingrich visited Taiwan in 1997. As he belonged to a different party with then-President Bill Clinton, however, that visit was more of a product of US domestic politics. That visit did not represent the will of the Clinton administration when a crisis had just erupted in the Taiwan Strait. The People's Liberation Army (PLA) had conducted a series of missile tests in the waters surrounding Taiwan, with US aircraft carriers in the region. At the time, China-US relations were in need of repair, and the Republican Party was sabotaging the relationship even further. Now that Pelosi and President Joe Biden are both Democrats, the visit, if it comes to fruition, will certainly have a high degree of coordination between the White House and the House of Representatives, which represents a radical adjustment in US Taiwan policy. 

While the crisis in Ukraine is still ongoing, the US should be appeasing China in exchange for not increasing support for Russia. However, the US is deliberately taking the offensive toward China, hitting China's bottom line and trying to pressure China into strategic submission. In my opinion, if the Taiwanese media reports are true, China cannot back down this time, but must adopt appropriate and sufficient measures to respond and draw a clear bottom line for the US and Taiwan island. 

We should issue a statement demanding that the US and Taiwan authorities abandon Pelosi's plan to visit Taiwan, or else we will take stern action to declare China's sovereignty over Taiwan. 

Once the US and Taiwan island are bent on pushing Pelosi's visit to Taiwan into fruition, then I suggest that the Chinese mainland should take unprecedented action to make Pelosi's visit impossible to carry out properly. There are many options available, and I propose two here. 

First, it could be announced that the airspace over Taiwan is closed on April 10th and a flight ban imposed. The PLA could deploy a large number of warplanes to fly around the island to ensure that the ban is implemented. Pelosi's provocation would prompt China to exercise its sovereignty over Taiwan in this new way since "Taiwan independence" secessionist moves would accelerate reunification. 

Second, the PLA warplanes could fly over Taiwan island on the day of Pelosi's visit, either from the west to east cross the Strait or from the direction of Pelosi's plane to the island, for which the PLA should be prepared for a full contingency. If Taiwan's forces open fire on our warplanes, the PLA should shoot down Taiwan's aircraft or carry out a destructive strike on Taiwan's force bases from which the missiles are launched. 

I believe that the Chinese mainland has other means to declare its sovereignty over Taiwan. In short, Pelosi's visit to Taiwan must be disrupted, so that the Chinese mainland's exercise of sovereignty over Taiwan will be pushed one step forward.

This will be a crisis and that will cause great waves. However, since the US and the Taiwan authorities are not afraid, we have nothing to fear either. It's very clear that the provocation by the US and the Taiwan island is the source of the crisis. The Speaker of the House of Representatives is the third most powerful political figure in the US. Pelosi's visit to Taiwan will be a gross violation of the internationally recognized One China principle. Her purpose is to make trouble. 

We have the moral ground to strike back and push for the further exercising of China's sovereignty over the Taiwan island. The US and its allies will definitely use propaganda machines to attack China, touting the rationality of Pelosi's visit, vilifying China's response as an act of coercion, and equating China with Russia. But the effect of these operations will be limited and will never lead to a public opinion iron curtain as they are doing with Russia. The global public knows well who is actively creating crises and who is upholding justice. We should use this crisis to expose Washington's sinister plot of messing up Asia. 

We should use this crisis to expose Washington's sinister plans to interfere in Asia, and gain sympathy in the region. Asians generally share a different opinion over the Ukraine crisis from Westerners, since they can see US intent to disrupt Europe. They remain wary that the US may use the Taiwan question or the South China Sea issue to repeat the same tactics in Asia, undermining development. This will help China win hearts and minds in Asia. 

It should be pointed out that any severe countermeasures taken by the mainland side doesn't mean the outbreak of a full-scale war in the Taiwan Straits. We can also announce the objectives and plans of our operation in advance. It will be another matter if the Taiwan side takes irrational confrontational actions and causes the situation to spiral upward. But I don't think the Taiwan authorities have the guts to do so. 

Through this crisis, we need to make the general public in Taiwan see the danger of the Democratic Progressive Party authority's radical policies. The people need to choose between supporting the authority's risky line and maintaining a peaceful life. 

There is a view in the US and the West believing that comprehensive sanctions on Russia have "frightened China." We must not give them such illusion. The Chinese mainland will not provoke troubles, but we never flinch when trouble comes our way. We have fought through the trade war. If Washington, with the cooperation of the Taiwan authority, wants to try again in the Taiwan Straits, what we should do is to teach them another heavy lesson and set up solid rules for them. 

The author is a commentator with the Global Times. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn