Prof. ST Hsieh
Director, US-China Energy Industry Forum
August 6, 2022
US-China relation as of now is very similar to a civil divorce case. Globalization did not work out as US expected and US has designated China as an unprecedented threat. Many in the US looks for a complete decoupling with China. But it is very tough, so President Biden has not completed his design of China policy yet.
Madame Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi recently visited Taipei overriding the objections of the Executive Branch. She openly announced that her trip to Taipei does not mean the US is changing the “One-China Policy.” Then she also pronounced that “China is intended to isolate Taiwan and we (means the US) won’t let that happen.” President Biden and his administration acquiesced so Pelosi’s position becomes the US position.
Madame Pelosi was elected as a US Congresswoman at her district then she was elected as Speaker of the House because, her party, the Democratic held a small margin over Republicans in the House. So, Madame Pelosi does not represent the US nation. But the world accepted her words as US policy.
Taiwan is a contested territory as China constitutionally claimed Taiwan is an inherent, inalienable part of China. China also declared Taiwan is her core-issue or redline. Before Madame Pelosi arrived Taipei, China already registered her opposition to Biden’s administration. China also announced to the world that, if Madame Pelosi visited Taipei, China would take appropriate actions.
Now, Madame Pelosi kept her words and went to Taipei then came home already. China honors her words and conducting military exercises around Taiwan, as well as cancelled some US-China communication channels.
It is really wise for US and China to chill-it out for a while. Rushing to any dialogue will be counterproductive. Especially, it is not proper for DoD to openly “criticizing” China as overreacting. US already has two foreign policy experts speaking for US, namely the President and the Speaker of the House. Next in line on China policy is the State Department, so why does DoD try to speak out against China?
President Biden does not have a China policy yet, his public supporting level is very low, there is no reason for any foreign leader, not even President Xi, to take him seriously now. The US mid-term election is only 94 days away, why not wait till the vote on Nov. 8? The sad predicament is that Biden will be a lame duck then, even less global leaders will talk to him.
As for Madame Nancy Pelosi, she will not be the Speaker of the House after Nov. 8. Most likely she would not even be the Minority Leader of the House! She will be 83 years old in 2023, give young Democrats a chance!
It makes more sense for the US to manage all the domestic divisions, polarizations, partisans’ politics and create a real United States, before leading any “drive to isolate Russia and China.” The US has many challenges at home and the world also has many critical challenges already.
Scrapping U.S.-China military talks deepens risk at dangerous time, analysts and officials say
Fri, August 5, 2022 at 9:36 PM
HONG KONG (Reuters) – China’s cutting of some of its few communication links with the U.S. military raises the risk of an accidental escalation of tension over Taiwan at a critical moment, according to security analysts, diplomats and U.S. officials.
China called off planned formal talks involving theatre-level commands, defence policy co-ordination and military maritime consultations on Friday as part of its retaliation against U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan this week.
In an editorial on Saturday, the Communist Party’s People’s Daily newspaper described the response, along with sanctions against Pelosi and her family, as “effective measures that fully demonstrates that China is fully determined and capable of safeguarding national unity and safeguarding … sovereignty and territorial integrity“.
Christopher Twomey, a security scholar at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in California, told Reuters the severing of the communication links was worrying, coming at what he believed was the beginning of a new Taiwan crisis.
China fired ballistic missiles over Taipei as part of four days of unprecedented military drills around the island it claims as its own – exercises due to end at noon on Sunday.
“This increased density of forces, in the context of an intensifying crisis, raises the prospect for inadvertent escalation that neither side wants,” Twomey said, speaking in a private capacity.
“That is precisely the time you would want to have more opportunities to talk to the other side … Losing those channels greatly reduces the ability of the two sides to de-conflict military forces as various exercises and operations continue.”
As Chinese warships, fighter jets and drones manoeuvre around Taiwan, at least four powerful U.S. vessels, including the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, the amphibious assault ship USS Tripoli and the guided missile cruiser USS Antietam are east of Taiwan, Reuters has confirmed.
NOT TAKING CALLS
Bonnie Glaser, a Washington-based security analyst with the German Marshall Fund of the United States, said, more broadly, prospects were “extremely low for holding talks on risk reduction measures or stability”.
Over time, she said she expected the specific talks called off this week would resume but “right now, China has to signal toughness and resolve“.
A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Chinese officials had not responded to calls from senior Pentagon officials this week but that was seen as China showing displeasure over Pelosi’s trip rather than the severing of the channel between senior defence officials, including U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.
Austin pushed for improved communication between the rival forces when met Chinese Defence Minister General Wei Fenghe on the sidelines of Shangri-la Dialogue security meeting in Singapore in June.
Both Asian and Western diplomats said U.S. military chiefs had been pushing for more frequent theatre-level command talks for some time, given China’s growing deployments across Asia, where the U.S. navy has traditionally been the dominant power.
The Pentagon said on Friday that China was overreacting and the United States was still open to building crisis communication mechanisms.
“Part of this overreaction has been strictly limiting its defence engagements when any responsible state would recognise that we need them now the most,” acting Pentagon spokesman Todd Breasseale said.
Alan Crawford, Jenni Marsh and Antony Sguazzin
Thu, August 4, 2022 at 9:37 PM