Some Western countries should not overreact to China's countermeasures against Pelosi's provocative trip to Taiwan
Published: Aug 13, 2022 02:29 PM
Illustration:Liu Rui/GT

Illustration:Liu Rui/GT

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's provocative trip has led to unprecedented countermeasures by the Chinese government, including canceling three cooperative dialogues or meetings with US defense authorities, suspending climate talks, and conducting live-fire drills surrounding Taiwan island. Confusing right and wrong, now some Western countries have begun to accuse China of overreacting, seeking to change the status quo and undermine regional stability. They have even vowed to send vessels across the Taiwan Straits to flex muscles. At this moment, we should make it clear to these countries that they should not overreact to China's countermeasures in this case.

First, China's countermeasures are aimed at safeguarding national sovereignty and territorial integrity. Even though some US government officials, for instance, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, claimed that Pelosi's trip to Taiwan is nothing "special," one should note that Pelosi is the third-highest-ranking official in the US government traveling in a military aircraft, and as her office described it in her arrival statement, she actually paid a high-profile "official visit to Taiwan." Such a visit has openly broken America's commitment not to develop official relations with Taiwan and crossed the red line, leaving China no choice but to cast severe countermeasures upon Pelosi and those in support of this trip.

Second, through the aforementioned countermeasures China is trying to maintain the political foundation of the most important bilateral relationship across the world, which is critical to the healthy and stable development of the China-US relationship. To put it straightforward, the one-China principle is both the prerequisite and political foundation of China-US relations. 

Back in 1972, the US made a solemn commitment to China on the Taiwan question in the three Sino-US joint communiques as follows: "The US recognizes the Government of the People's Republic of China as the sole legal Government of China and acknowledges the Chinese position that there is but one China and Taiwan is part of China." However, in recent years the US has made continuous attempts to hollow out the one-China principle so as to contain China. In the past 18 months alone, the US has completed five rounds of arms sales to Taiwan, let alone the increasingly overt and frequent use of the Taiwan Relations Act and "Six Assurances" to Taiwan in the US rhetoric. 

As Henry Kissinger noted, "The United States should not by subterfuge or by a gradual process develop something of a 'two-China' solution." Under such circumstances, our countermeasures mean to give out warnings and urge the US to correct mistakes and guide the China-US relationship back to the right track. We have done our best, and we hope the US side will think rationally and act with sincerity.

Third, through the countermeasures China firmly upholds the international order based on international law. On the solid foundation of the Cairo Declaration of 1943, the Potsdam Declaration of 1945, and the UN General Assembly Resolution 2758 passed in 1971, the one-China principle has become part of the postwar international order and has become a prevailing international consensus. The US and some Western countries, on one hand, always talk about "obeying rules-based international order," on the other hand they have constantly been destroying the current international order by weakening and distorting the one-China principle. As Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said, if the principle of non-interference with any nation's internal affairs set by the UN Charter was broken, the world would return to the law of the jungle, and the US would bully others, especially developing countries, more wantonly from a so-called position of power. Being the largest developing country in the world, China will never allow this to happen; thus, we need to make the US pay and learn.

In fact, it is Pelosi's flagrant trip to Taiwan that has triggered a new round of crisis in the Taiwan Straits. The countermeasures by the Chinese side are reasonable and legitimate in nature, open, transparent and professional in practice. They are also in line with established international practices. By doing so, we are set to prevent those who play with fire from going further on the dangerous path, and in the long run, our countermeasures will help maintain cross-Straits peace and stability, defend the authority of a sovereign nation, and eventually benefit people in this region and worldwide. The US should find a correct way to make up for the mistake and return to the true essence of the one-China policy, instead of confounding right and wrong and overreacting to China's countermeasures.

The author is an observer on international affairs. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn