Cultivated ambiguity to cover a treacherous policy toward China
The Greanville Post | August 01, 2022
On the morning of 1 August 2022 when U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi — third-in-line for the U.S. Presidency after only Vice President Kamala Harris — was starting her trip through Asia in order to whip up a war between China and America over Taiwan and other issues, CNN headlined on its home page, “What does Taiwan think about the possibility of a visit by Nancy Pelosi?”, and that article opened:
Reports that US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is planning a visit to Taiwan have sparked tense exchanges between the United States and China — and growing speculation over how Beijing might react.
While Pelosi — a forthright critic of Beijing — has so far declined to confirm the reports, she has said it is important for the US to show support for Taiwan, and lawmakers on both sides of Washington’s political divide have urged her to go. China, meanwhile, has lashed out at the idea, vowing to take “resolute and forceful measures” if any trip goes ahead.
Far less vocal, however, has been the island at the center of the controversy.
There has been no statement in favor of, or against, Pelosi’s potential trip from Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen or her office — though Premier Su Tseng-chang said on Wednesday that Taipei was “very grateful to Speaker Pelosi for her strong support and kindness towards Taiwan over the years” and that the island welcomes any friendly guests from overseas.
Analysts say the relative silence is because Taiwan, a democratic self-governed island of 24 million people that China’s ruling Communist Party claims as part of its territory, despite never having controlled it, finds itself in an awkward spot.
Taiwan, they point out, depends on US arms to defend itself against the possibility that China could invade and forcefully take it over — so it does not want to be seen as discouraging support from one of the US’ most powerful politicians.