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US' one-China policy eroded by Pelosi visit

By YIFAN XU in Washington | China Daily | Updated: 2022-08-08 07:29

The Taipei 101 skyscraper commands the urban landscape in Taipei, Taiwan. [Photo/Xinhua]

Bilateral relations put at risk by action of the politician, analysts say

The visit last week by the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, to China's Taiwan region was another incremental action that erodes the one-China policy of the US, putting the China-US relations in an "extremely dangerous" state, political experts say.

Sourabh Gupta, a senior fellow at the Institute for China-America Studies in Washington, said the visit means some US officials will continue to use the Taiwan question as a wedge to polarize and worsen China-US relations.

"It also means that in the longer term, the strategy of strategic ambiguity will be hollowed out completely, with the latter perhaps even formally abandoned," he said.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Friday announced eight countermeasures, including canceling China-US defense policy coordination talks and suspending China-US talks on climate change, in response to Pelosi's visit to China's Taiwan region.

Dangerous move

"Pelosi has been both irresponsible and provocative in going to Taiwan," said Colin Mackerras, professor emeritus at Griffith University in Australia.

"What's incendiary about her actions is that they more than imply that she favors independence for Taiwan," Mackerras said.

"It seems to me that China's response, rather than being provocative, is quite measured and responsible," he added.

At a webinar hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Bonnie Glaser, director of the Asia Program at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, warned that bilateral relations are in "a dangerous, acrimonious state".

"When you have (President Joe Biden) say things like, 'We don't support Taiwan independence, and we still adhere to our one-China policy,' if that rings hollow in Beijing, then we are at a very difficult point.

"I think the Chinese took these set of actions … to shore up their red line, to signal those future incremental actions by the United States, as they would say, to slice the salami will be extremely dangerous."

John Culver, a senior fellow at the Global China Hub of the Atlantic Council and a former CIA senior intelligence officer, called China's response unprecedented.

"I think that this is the new normal the Chinese want to show as they have in previous Taiwan Straits crises that a line has been crossed by the speaker's visit."

In an opinion piece in The Washington Post on Tuesday, Pelosi said her visit in no way contradicted the long-standing US one-China policy. However, that was an "unadulterated lie", Gupta said.

"As part of its one-China policy, the United States pledged to limit its relationship with the island to unofficial ties. The visit of congressmen and women in their official capacity violates the one-China policy. And an official visit by the third-highest ranking member of the US government violates the one-China policy in spades."

Before Pelosi's visit, Biden said publicly that the US military believed the trip was "not a good idea right now".

Xu Weiwei in Hong Kong contributed to this story.

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