Are Pelosi and China in collusion over Taiwan?

Chinese polices, Shanghai, China, January 29, 2020.

Is Pelosi’s Taiwan visit an orchestrated stunt with China?

American right wing advocates fought a long and bitter struggle against the last round of government elections in the USA. A major prevailing argument was that Hunter Biden’s ties with the PRC had compromised his father’s neutrality in any international issues involving China and America.

Sending someone to Taipei with no connection to the Biden family, but a high-ranking member of the left wing in America under Joe Biden’s presidency, could be regarded as a clever plot but what is there to gain from it? The coming mid-term elections would present the optimum response to that question. Following the blotched Afghanistan withdrawal under Joe Biden among other dubious international events involving the US government, a victory on foreign policy is sorely needed to persuade voters that there isn’t a lame duck presidency in place.

Consider the timing of press releases concerning the elimination of a leading Al Qaida leader and Pelosi’s stand on Taiwan, against China’s interests. One would understandably be inclined to see a marked reversal in America’s foreign policies, for the better. Accordingly, if elections are considered vital to Pelosi’s interests, then there’s every reason to entertain the notion that her trip to Taiwan would bolster those chances of success.

It would be inappropriate to take this line of reasoning further without considering where China stands on this issue, not just concerning Taiwan, but its relationship with the Biden administration. China has been constant in its approach to seeing Taiwan as part of China. The Formosa Crisis in 1954-55 showed a serious confrontation between the PRC and the USA. American naval ships were on standby to engage Chinese vessels, an act tantamount to open war. The crisis simmered down, and there have been no close calls since then. That is until now. China is beating its war drum and making no attempt at revealing its military intentions against not only Taiwan, but also American interference. This is diplomatic brinkmanship at its highest threat level. But, like Pelosi’s interest in American interests, what does China have to gain in all this rhetoric?

The possibility that this episode is a calculated gamble on both sides of the fence seems more viable an option than looking for a smoking gun in Pelosi’s closet. Suggestions were raised that both her husband and son had heavy investments in China, which could compromise Pelosi’s position on China. However, that would fail to take into account the many historical occasions when Nancy Pelosi spoke out against Chinese human right policies. Pure conjecture is not a close ally with established facts. On a similar note, Hunter Biden could be considered more vulnerable to Chinese pressure based on allegations against the president’s son that to date have yet to be fully resolved.

The above factors could lend weight to an argument that China does have something to gain from this episode. It would seemingly have more to benefit from the continuation of Biden’s presidency than from President Donald Trump, who was far more vigorous in curtailing China’s expansionist policies. By letting the episode simmer down, just like the Formosa Crisis (Formosa was the former name of Taiwan), it would allow Biden to pick up valuable points for the forthcoming mid-term elections. A stronger domestic Biden administration, although seen as a weak government in real terms by many international players could therefore play into China’s long term interests. In such a scenario, Pelosi can be depicted as a lone wolf representing her own interests, which align with the American public, but can be subtly distanced enough from the core of Biden’s administration to allow for wriggle room in any later attempt at deescalating the current crisis.

In summary, one would need a lot of wild imagination to conjure up a scenario involving a genuine plot between elements of China and America’s top officials. However, it is a shorter and more stable jump to suggest that real benefits exist on both sides for allowing this ‘crisis’ to play out some time, at least until the mid-term elections? That would suggest that an understanding between these two super-powers has been reached, albeit through the shadowy world of international diplomacy. Time will tell! 

 

 

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