House Speaker's Taiwan trip irreparably harms American interests despite US media's spin
Published: Aug 03, 2022 06:23 PM
Illustration: Chen Xia/GT

Illustration: Chen Xia/GT

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's trip to Taiwan island should never have happened. Not only did it put China and the US on the brink of war for the first time since the Korean War, but it irreparably harms US interests instead of advancing them. US media spun her visit as a successful so-called "flag-planting" stunt whereby Washington made clear its support for that separatist Chinese region, but the reality is that any supposed "victory" was only pyrrhic. 

Firstly, nobody will believe the US practices what it preaches. It claims to recognize the one-China policy yet the second in line of succession to the US presidency just openly violated it without being chastised by the head of state, US President Joe Biden, let alone stopped by him. America's reputation was already in tatters after former US president Donald Trump unilaterally pulled out of the Iranian nuclear deal and now his successor practically destroyed the one-China policy.   

The second point is that China-US relations are now at their lowest point in modern history. Their ties are supposed to be an element of predictability and stability in international relations, especially during the chaotic systemic transition that was accelerated by the Ukrainian conflict but preceded it by at least a decade, yet now nobody can count on China-US ties for that. 

Third, the global economic recovery that everyone's been working so hard to help happen since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic over two and a half years ago will likely be indefinitely delayed to the detriment of all. That's because it requires some semblance of international certainty, especially in the Asia-Pacific region that's become the core of the global economy, but Pelosi just ruined all of that by unprecedentedly worsening bilateral relations with China and destabilizing this part of the world. This is likely to harm the US recovery at home too and prolong the hardships US people are facing.

Fourth, the indirect domestic economic consequences of Pelosi's trip to Taiwan could further harm Democratic Party's political prospects ahead of November's midterm elections. The ruling party was already facing an uphill battle in the face of fierce Republican resistance but now the opposition can exploit populist sentiment brought about by the population's worsened economic conditions to give themselves an electoral boost ahead of the vote. 

In a nutshell, these consequences respectively relate to the following spheres: diplomacy and soft power; military and strategic affairs; the global economy; the American economy and the US' domestic political dynamics. With this in mind, it can be said that Pelosi's trip to Taiwan was truly a so-called "game-changer," but not in the way that she expected. Far from being a genuine "success" and a "victory" for US interests, it was a complete failure and an unmitigated defeat. 

Nevertheless, the US-led Western mainstream media will continue to spin a false portrayal of her trip, yet the direct and indirect consequences thereof as explained will convince the international and American audiences that those perception managers are lying to them. Folks have already become accustomed to being misinformed by the Western media, but now they'll see just how blatantly they're lying, which will only speed up the decline of the US' standing across the world. 

Finally, this visit provoked massive domestic resistance as seen all across social media but which was actively suppressed among the US mainstream media. Americans finally felt what it's like to risk a hot war with a major country for the first time since the Cold War with the erstwhile Soviet Union, which will powerfully influence the present generation's perceptions of everything. 

Unlike back then however when many were indoctrinated to possibly die simply for the sake of their elite's capitalist ideology, nowadays there's not even a superficially plausible pretext for losing one's life in a possible war with China. That's what scared Americans the most, the fact that their speaker's reckless trip could have led to a nuclear apocalypse in the worst-case scenario. While some Americans have been brainwashed into sympathizing with Taiwan's separatist cause, none want to die for it. 

It can be concluded that Pelosi's trip actually eroded US support for Taiwan island instead of strengthening it. Many Americans finally realized how irresponsible it is to tacitly throw away the one-China policy, and all for nothing at all other than one woman's vanity. Anti-elite sentiment exploded ahead of Trump's surprise 2016 victory but waned in 2020, though it's likely to once again be a major factor in domestic politics after people now fear their elite's foreign plots more than ever. They'd hitherto taken it for granted that nothing of the sort could ever transpire, yet now they aren't so sure since it's clear that their elite are hellbent on provoking major countries like China for no reason. Therefore, there's no doubt her visit harmed US interests in many ways and unleashed unpredictable political consequences.

The author is a Moscow-based American political analyst. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn