GT Voice: To Pelosi’s wannabes in UK: you can’t afford playing ‘Taiwan card’
Published: Aug 02, 2022 11:05 PM
Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

The UK's House of Commons' Foreign Affairs Committee is planning a visit to the island of Taiwan probably in November or early December this year, The Guardian reported on Monday.

It's unclear whether this is just a coincidence or a deliberate move, but the report of such a trip comes at a highly sensitive time in the Taiwan Straits, where tensions are flaring over reports of a possible visit to the island by Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi. China repeatedly expressed firm opposition against such a provocative move and vowed strong countermeasures if Pelosi goes ahead with the trip. 

As global attention has been focusing on Pelosi's furtive trip in the region and backlash from China, it is safe to assume that the UK members of parliament are fully aware of the highly provocative nature of their reported trip to the island. 

If they go ahead with such a trip even after what they witnessed with the rising tension surrounding Pelosi's reported trip, they are deliberately provoking China and they will face serious backlash from China.

From China's perspective, only by making anti-China politicians like Pelosi pay a heavy price for provoking China's core interests can the increasingly reckless and dangerous behaviors of some arrogant Western politicians be stopped. In this sense, anti-China British politicians should not be opportunist about trying to copy US politicians to use Taiwan as tool for political expediency. 

What's worth noting is a growing trend of British politicians trying to copy US politicians in trying to play the "Taiwan card" for their twisted obsession of displaying "toughness" on China. Behind such a trend is the falling global standing of the UK and its considerable domestic problems ranging from economic woes to political dysfunction. 

Since Brexit, instead of fulfilling its so-called Global Britain strategy, the UK has to face the embarrassment of its decline in terms of global status and serious economic predicament at home. Against this backdrop, some British politicians have been quick to side with the US, putting on all kinds of political stunts to show that they are in lock step with the US, especially when it comes to their China policy.

Their irresponsible behavior has fueled concerns about the deterioration of China-UK relations, which could further affect bilateral trade and investment cooperation. For instance, Tony Danker, director-general of the Confederation of British Industry, recently said that thousands of British companies are cutting economic ties with China amid fears of further tensions, according to the Financial Times.

China was the UK's third-largest trading partner, with bilateral trade in goods exceeding $100 billion in 2021, despite the headwinds of the pandemic and growing tensions. 

If Britain's anti-China politicians continue to escalate their provocations, the damage to China-UK business will be disastrous. And the UK economy cannot afford such shocks. The UK is currently battling with unbearable inflation, which just hit 9.4 percent year-on-year in June, marking a new 40-year high, and there is fear that it may be sliding toward a recession.

At this juncture, some British politicians need to wake up to the fact that the UK doesn't have the right or the ability to provoke China over the Taiwan question. With its economic size already exceeding $17 trillion, China has the ability and determination to safeguard its sovereignty, security and development interest.

The UK surely worries about its economy, but the provocation against China is ideological, in line with the US' attempt to pick an ideology conflict between the West and China. Therefore, this shows that the UK is not only a pawn but also a provocateur against China, fully exposing its undying imperialist mentality. But the bottom line is that the UK cannot recover its old glory over the Hong Kong issue, nor can it on the Taiwan question.