More Americans denounce Pelosi's overstepping of boundaries on China-US relations, realize importance of 'one-China principle'
Rise of rationality
Published: Aug 10, 2022 12:01 AM
Americans gather in front of the JFK Federal Building in Boston demanding Nancy Pelosi to resign on August 8, 2022. Photo: Courtesy of Pivot to Peace

Americans gather in front of the JFK Federal Building in Boston demanding Nancy Pelosi to resign on August 8, 2022. Photo: Courtesy of Pivot to Peace

Upon ending her Asia trip on August 5, 2022, including China's Taiwan, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she returns to the US "inspired," however, her ill-conceived visit has left a trail of anger and frustration in the Asian-Pacific region, with such negative emotions also sweeping across the US thanks to the series of upheavals and disputes she stirred up.

On August 8, several US anti-war NGOs including Pivot to Peace, the ANSWER Coalition, and the Boston Liberation, along with members of the Chinese American community in Boston, held a demonstration in front of the JFK Federal Building in Boston demanding Pelosi to resign, stop inflaming potential war with China, and instead focus on the real issues facing the American People. 

Holding up signs that read "US Hands off Taiwan" and "Stop the Provocations on China," members of the community expressed their outrage toward Pelosi's visit to the island of Taiwan in blatant disregard of long-standing US-China agreements, which they considered would have a severe impact on the political foundation of China-US relations. 

"What has impressed us is that we have received such passionate support in so short a time. We were able to mobilize rapidly and express our voices," convener of the Boston protest William Lee with Pivot to Peace, an organization of Americans working to oppose war and hostility between the US and China, told the Global Times.

"Pelosi pretends not to see our demands and struggles, so we are going to speak up and stand up to her, letting her see on the newspapers how shameful what she did was," said Julie Tang, a retired judge who served on the bench at the San Francisco Superior Court for more than two decades.

The entire world watched with trepidation as Pelosi touched down in Taiwan region, and upon her departure, questions persisted - Why is the American public so adamantly opposed to Pelosi's Taiwan trip? What are the adverse effects of her actions? Why are they speaking out for China?

'Thanks to China's restraint'

In San Francisco, nearly 5,000 kilometers from Boston, about 17 US NGOs along with some one hundred residents from Pelosi's congressional district gathered outside her office on August 2, urging Pelosi to stop recklessly pushing China and the US to the brink of war at the expense of American interests. 

"Unfortunately, our actions failed to stop Pelosi's Taiwan trip. But thanks to China's restraint, we have the opportunity to continue to launch action alerts," said American political activist Jodie Evans, co-founder of CODEPINK, a women-led US anti-war organization, which currently has been calling on their members to contact members of Congress to stand firmly and publicly in their commitment to peace.

It was founded in 2002 as a grassroots effort to prevent the US war on Iraq. "When I see the US playing the same playbook against China as against Iraq through lying and constant provocations, especially when China has clearly drawn its red line on the Taiwan question, and the US government has crossed it, we realized we needed to do something to stop the conflict," Jodie told the Global Times.

In addition to reaching out to the members of Congress and calling for peace, the residents of San Francisco are, likewise, planning to sign a petition under Pivot to Peace, calling for Pelosi's resignation.

"These actions are an opportunity for us to express the true will and anger of the American people and to tell Pelosi she has to be stopped," said Julie Tang, a retired judge who served on the bench at the San Francisco Superior Court for more than two decades, who is also a co-founder of Pivot to Peace, told the Global Times.

Tang noted that the call to action against Pelosi instantly received a massive response when it was issued. Because currently, Americans are observing firsthand the dangerous and irresponsible actions of Pelosi-led US politicians who ignore continued warnings from the US and China, as well as China's follow up determined military response, which they realized could lead their country, after the Ukraine crisis, to be involved in another indirect conflict with the top nuclear-armed power, she said.

Pelosi's trip to Taiwan island showed the American people how the country's political elites play with international situations, said Tang Jingtai, professor at the School of Journalism at Fudan University. "This harsh reality revealed that American politicians can tie everyone to the runaway carriage of the US wandering on the edge of conflict for their own selfish interests," he told the Global Times.

'She ignores livelihoods in US'

"We know that Pelosi wanted to be a hero. Her Taiwan trip was like her last hurrah, but it was foolish," Tang said.

As pointed out by the US media, with the upcoming US midterm elections, Pelosi expects to divert the attention of the domestic public by taking the initiative to provoke China to grab back some votes for the Democrats who are in an electoral slump.

"But her willingness to risk harming all Americans by provoking China reveals the truth about her self-serving political interests and proves that she has totally disqualified herself as a leader for America," Tang noted.

Tang said that as Pelosi's constituents, San Francisco residents have been calling, writing, and emailing Pelosi's office, asking her to stop further antagonizing other countries. "We even tried to submit a petition of 1,400 signatures that we had collected within three days. But we received no response from them," she said.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Pelosi has said her trip was meant to strengthen mutual security, economic partnership, and democratic governance. But Americans are disappointed and saddened that while Pelosi recklessly peddles "democracy" to other countries, she deliberately and selectively ignores the worsening situation of people's livelihoods in the US, especially in her own constituency.

"The homelessness crisis is serious in San Francisco, and our food bills have risen so high right now, and we are really concerned about the huge disparity between the rich and the poor," Tang complained.

On February 23, 2022, a total of 7,800 homeless people were counted in San Francisco, 4,400 of whom were unsheltered, local media reports said, which is "an unusually high number." 

According to NBC news, in June, inflation in the Bay Area hit a 38-year high.

Lee noted that in addition to rising inflation exposing more and more American families to food insecurity and housing instability, the US' infrastructure is crumbling, most notably in Boston, with frequent fires and malfunctions in public transportation endangering the lives of commuters.

"Every day, the American public sees evidence that those elected to our government do not have their focus on what is affecting the average person. In the meantime, blame our country's problems on countries they consider their enemies like China," he said.

'We have a lot to learn from China'

"For a long time, US propaganda is full-on hatred of China, the American people's heart and compassion has been used by people with ulterior motives," Jodie said. 

During the visit to Taiwan island, Pelosi exploited various occasions to slander China on issues such as democracy, human rights, and religion, which have been repeatedly proven to be grand lies. 

Jodie told the Global Times that in the face of continued unfounded smears against China which has stirred up hostility in both countries and even seriously affected the personal safety of Asian Americans, CODEPINK launched a campaign called "China Is Not Our Enemy" to share objective and factual information about China to allow more Americans who are being misinformed to learn more about this country.

CODEPINK has been enumerating the questions that the American public has about China, such as this country's policy on the prevention and control of COVID-19, and providing objective answers. 

The campaign also includes an online coalition asking the US Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) to resume airing the documentary Voices from the Frontline: China's War on Poverty, which delves into China's transformative policies that have lifted millions of citizens out of extreme poverty.

"We have told PBS to stop censoring the truth about China and contributing to anti-China rhetoric and anti-Asian violence! Tell them, don't be afraid of the truth!" Jodie said.

On many occasions that are important to the development of relations between China and the US, many NGOs have also swung into action. 

This year, for example, marks the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Shanghai Communiqué between the US and China, in which the US made a clear commitment that Taiwan is a part of China, members of Pivot to Peace put up banners saying "Honor Shanghai Communiqué" on the streets of San Francisco and gathered at local civic center to give a speech calling for the peaceful development of the two countries.

A banner commemorating the Shanghai Communiqué hangs over a street in San Francisco in February 2022. Photo: Courtesy of Tang

A banner commemorating the Shanghai Communiqué hangs over a street in San Francisco in February 2022. Photo: Courtesy of Julie Tang

"We commemorate events and speak up. As American citizens, the only thing we can do is to affect our government," Tang said, noting that because they rely entirely on individual donors, unlike some notorious anti-China NGOs which are heavily supported by the US government, "we have very little resources, so we just do activities, write letters to the editor, hoping that the media will cover it, and we have slowly recruited a lot of people." 

But to Tang's credit, their organization has steadily attracted more members who have gradually expanded from Chinese Americans who initially knew more about China to being representative of the entire America.

"There are a lot of brilliant activists who are willing to show up in a heartbeat and continue to do the work we are doing now," Jodie said. She noted that at present, Pelosi's antics have instead become the best promotion for the one-China principle. 

Tang Jingtai noted that at present, the number of organizations that do recognize that they have been fooled by the US government is gradually growing through the use the Internet to strengthen their voices, unify the consensus, and further recognize the true face of the US, and that US-China relations still have a long way to go.

"American people want to find out what's wrong. Why is everyone against Pelosi's visit to the Taiwan region? Why do they keep talking about one-China? We already have the answers," she said.

"We're stepping up our education and communication actions. It is inspirational as you can share the true reality and stir hearts enough to encourage involvement, and then our list grows with people wanting to engage. They do it with love and joy, and that we do work that promotes the idea that the two countries can learn from each other, because we have a lot to learn from China," Jodie said.

Tourists stand in a scenic area in Pingtan Island, one of Chinese mainland's closest geographical points to Taiwan island, on August 4, 2022. Photo: AFP

Tourists stand in a scenic area in Pingtan Island, one of Chinese mainland's closest geographical points to Taiwan island, on August 4, 2022. Photo: AFP