( Four minute read)
Nancy Pelosi, née Nancy Patricia D’Alesandro, (born March 26, 1940)
Pelosi, a long-time critic of the Chinese government, heightened tensions between the U.S. and China, which considers the self-ruling island to be its territory and viewed the presence of a U.S. official of the speaker’s stature as provocatively enhancing the international standing of Taiwan’s government.
She has denounced its human rights record, met with pro-democracy dissidents, and also visited Tiananmen Square to commemorate victims of the 1989 massacre.
If you are a small island state with few allies, not recognised by the United Nations, and threatened with invasion by a much larger and more powerful neighbour, then getting a visit by the second most powerful politician in the United States should be something you welcome. Right?
Ms Pelosi is now 82 and expected to retire in the autumn.
Is she in Taiwan, with a clear intent to offer real support, or is it a political stunt? It’s all very unclear.
Taiwan, which considers itself a sovereign nation, has long been claimed by China. But Taiwan also counts the US as its biggest ally, and Washington has a law which requires it to help the island defend itself.
It’s like a giant game of pretend which is becoming harder to maintain.
China pretends that Taiwan is currently part of its territory, even though the island collects its own taxes, votes in its own government, issues its own passports and has its own military.
The US pretends it is not treating Taiwan as an independent country, even though it sells it high-tech weapons and, occasionally, a high-ranking politician visits on what looks very much like an official trip.
Due to Ms Pelosi visit it is apparent that it would take nothing for this flimsy show, designed to guarantee the status quo, to fall apart.
The idea of a war to reclaim it never felt any closer. Every day we move a step closer to that and a step further away from peace.
That would be disastrous. We can only hope that smart minds in the USA and China know it.
A disaster for the world and the required war on climate change.
All human comments appreciated. All like clicks and abuse chucked in the bin.