No easy solution to bilateral ties after trip – Reuters


Pelosi’s provocative visit to Taiwan has further strained relations, experts say

Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan has heightened tensions between the United States and China, and the resulting damage to bilateral relations will not be easily repaired, experts said as they weighed in on the fallout from the trip .

In defiance of China’s staunch opposition, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives visited Taiwan on Tuesday night, a move the Chinese Foreign Ministry said was “definitely not a defense and maintenance of democracy, but a provocation and violation of China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity”. .

Relations between the two major economies are “teering on the edge of a precipice” after the visit, which could further blur Washington’s already complicated relationship with Beijing, US sources said Thursday.

Ted Galen Carpenter, senior fellow at the Cato Institute, a think tank in Washington, said US President Joe Biden’s administration was already facing “significant” challenges and obstacles to improving relations with China.

Those relations had become strained during Donald Trump’s presidency, and they didn’t improve much after Biden became president, according to Carpenter.

“Pelosi’s trip makes it even worse,” Carpenter told China Daily on Thursday.

He said the visit of the main US lawmaker to Taiwan, in particular her meeting with the leader of the island, Tsai Ing-wen, has “severely” heightened tensions and that the damage caused to US-China relations will not be not easily repaired.

Given the current situation, the risk of an accident or miscalculation is far too great, and the risk of war is greater than it has been for at least two decades, he said. declared.

For Stephen Roach, a former US Federal Reserve economist, Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan is like “pouring salt into an open wound for China”.

Disturbing trajectory

“We are on a trajectory of escalating conflict, and that will certainly make things worse. It plays well for local politics in the United States and Taiwan, but it does not play well for the geostrategic forces that separate these two nations. ,” Roach, a principal investigator at Yale University, said in an interview with CNBC on Wednesday.

“This visit, if anything, pushes that point of reuniting further, rather than bringing it closer.”

Douglas H. Paal, who served as director of the American Institute in Taiwan from 2002 to 2006, said the consequences of Pelosi’s visit would be detrimental to restoring the effective diplomacy needed to avert a calamitous conflict.

“Both sides have no choice but to engage in future dialogue, even if past assurances by the United States of its ‘one China policy’ will be further eroded in the minds of Beijing.” , Paal said in an email.

Jon Taylor, chair of the department of political science and geography at the University of Texas at San Antonio, also said Pelosi’s visit further chilled relations.

“She might think she’s on principle by visiting Taiwan, but if China’s reaction over the past day is any indication, her short trip will help keep US-China relations in the freezer for the foreseeable future.” , Taylor told China Daily.

“Pelosi’s trip was counterproductive, and China is right to be angry at the visit.”

Taylor said it would go a long way if bilateral relations could be pursued in the spirit of respectful diplomatic engagement. This would require the United States to place people in areas of responsibility who possess a nuanced understanding of the relationship.

“Neither country can afford the world’s most important bilateral relationship to remain mired in animosity at this time,” he said.

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