Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan points to more than just incoherent US policy,

Sholto Byrnes, East Asian affairs columnist for The National

[…] As Harvard University’s William Overholt put it: “Pelosi accomplished much in Taiwan. She stimulated cyberattacks, got thousands of businesses banned from exporting to China, shut down important cross-Strait communications tool Weibo, elicited mainland military exercises and stimulated an imminent temporary blockade.”

Ms Pelosi undermined US President Joe Biden and made him seem weak, after he said the military didn’t want her to go but she went anyway. This does not demonstrate coherent American strength on the issue, especially since Mr Biden is the leader of the Democrats, the party to which they both belong. […]

The Shanghai Communique of 1972, which is the foundation of diplomatic relations between the two countries, states it plainly: “The United States acknowledges that all Chinese on either side of the Taiwan Strait maintain there is but one China and that Taiwan is a part of China. The United States Government does not challenge that position.”

It may not have done then, but Mr Biden has come as close as possible to trashing the “One China” stance with his repeated assertions that the US would defend Taiwan if it came to war, even once comparing America’s relations with the island to those with its treaty partners in Nato. This is recklessness in the extreme. However much outsiders may have sympathy for the people of Taiwan, there is no legal basis for independence, and when the nationalist leader Chiang Kai-Shek retreated there in 1949 after being defeated by the communists in China’s civil war, he certainly didn’t think he was going to a different country.

Hawks like Mr Colby believe the answer is for the US to increase defence spending drastically. Many in the region that would be directly affected by conflict believe, on the other hand, that it has never been more crucial to reaffirm the “One China” policy. It was noticeable that in their statements following Ms Pelosi’s visit, nearly every member of the Association of South-East Asian Nations stressed their commitment to that position, which maintains there is but one China, whatever the current circumstances happen to be. Läs artikel