Pelosi’s remarks reflect the truth of US system
Published: Jan 31, 2024 11:16 PM
 Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

According to reports from US media outlets, amid ongoing Israel-Palestine conflicts, a group of pro-Palestinian protesters gathered outside former US house speaker Nancy Pelosi's San Francisco home. In response to their demonstration, Pelosi reportedly shouted to them, "Go back to China where your headquarters is!" This is a veteran American politician's interpretation of the war in Gaza.

Pelosi's remarks have elicited a range of reactions from the public, including ridicule, sarcasm and surprise. Some critics have accused her of lacking the decorum expected of a politician, while others have labeled her comments as overtly racist or as perpetuating the "China threat" narrative. 

Just a day prior to this incident, Pelosi suggested to CNN host Dana Bash that the pro-Palestinian protesters calling for a cease-fire were linked to Russia, further accusing them of spreading "messages" from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Such flip-flopping and seemingly irrational statements are not typically associated with a seasoned American politician. Yet, it's crucial to remember that Pelosi has been a dominant political figure in the country for over two decades, serving twice as the Speaker of the House and becoming the first woman to hold that position, as well as the first woman to lead a major party in either chamber of Congress.

Is Nancy Pelosi then an anomaly in the mature landscape of American politics? Quite the contrary; she epitomizes the very essence of the American political establishment - a product of its system, deeply entrenched in its ways. 

Pelosi's career, marked by decades of legislative work, has both influenced and been shaped by the evolution of American congressional politics. 

Her approach to the Israel-Palestine conflict, viewing it as an opportunity to deflect blame rather than addressing the substantive issues at hand, reflects a broader trend among politicians to prioritize political maneuvering over genuine problem-solving.

Pelosi's impromptu comments reveal a troubling aspect of how some American politicians engage with international politics. There seems to be a constant drive to "sell" politics, to engage in political theatrics rather than govern with integrity and foresight. 

The current fixation on the "China threat" narrative among some US lawmakers has become a psychological trap, a self-fulfilling prophecy that they seem unable to escape, bordering on obsession rather than rational policy-making.

This incident sheds light on the deeper issue of how anti-China sentiment, often manifested in malicious legislative proposals aimed at sanctioning China, has become more about political posturing than addressing real geopolitical challenges. 

There is an old Chinese saying: What you say after being drunk is the truth. Pelosi's shouting, though not made under the influence of alcohol, suggest a sort of intoxication with the illusion of a Chinese threat - a distortion that has made some American policymakers seem drunk.

For those hoping for a stable and constructive development in US-China relations, news like this offers little to laugh about. The US is in its 2024 presidential election cycle, the political nightmares conjured by such rhetoric only serve to deepen the shadow of the China threat in the minds of voters.

Since American politics is a big theater, it is bound to have an absurd side, and the trouble now is that its absurd side has become the main line of the plot. This is due to the fierce rivalry between the two parties and the division of the society, and its damage is not just to the foreign relations of the US, but to the whole society of the US. And the current American politicians can't manage this drama, they can only be the players, just like Pelosi, indulging in the China threat theory of their own making.

The author is a senior editor with People's Daily, and currently a senior fellow with the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China. dinggang@globaltimes.com.cn. Follow him on X @dinggangchina