Vladimir Putin Blasts Nancy Pelosi’s Recent Visit to Taiwan
On August 16, 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared that United States House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan was a “carefully planned provocation.” He made this statement at the Moscow Conference on International Security.
“As you know, the US has recently once again deliberately tried to add fuel to the fire and rock the situation in the Asia-Pacific region. The American adventure concerning Taiwan is not just a trip by a single irresponsible politician, but part of a deliberate, conscious US strategy to destabilize and deteriorate the situation in the region and the world; a brazen display of disrespect for the sovereignty of other countries and for its international obligations. We see this as a carefully planned provocation,” Putin stated.
“It is obvious that with such actions Western globalist elites, among other things, are trying to divert the attention of their own citizens from acute social and economic problems: falling living standards, unemployment, poverty, de-industrialization; to shift their own failures to other countries: to Russia, to China, which are defending their point of view, building sovereign development policies, not obeying the dictates of supranational elites,” Putin remarked.
The situation in Taiwan heated up on August 2 and August 3 when Nancy Pelosi visited the island nation which China treats as a rogue breakaway province. China saw Pelosi’s visit as an immense provocation. In response, the Chinese Armed Forces carried out military drills “with missile firing in six water areas around the island,” per a report by TASS.
At stake here, is the question of Taiwan’s sovereignty. Since 1949, Taiwan has been self-governed. The remaining forces of the Kuomintang (Chinese nationalists) fled to the island after they were defeated by the Communists during the Chinese Civil War. Initially, Taiwan’s Kuomintang leadership had the goal of retaking the Chinese mainland to unify the country under the nationalist banner.
However, over time, Taiwanese sentiment has moved towards a more pro-independence direction, which Western countries like the United States and its allies have largely encouraged. China treats Taiwan as a province, not an independent nation, as a part of its “One China” policy. Other countries such as Russia recognize the “One China” policy.
While the US has officially maintained a “One China” policy, with a degree of strategic ambiguity on how it deals with Taiwan, its recent actions indicate that the US is prepared to facilitate a formal declaration of Taiwanese independence.
For China, a formal declaration of Taiwanese independence would be perceived as an existential threat that would likely see it respond with decisive military action. The US is playing with fire here.
While there are justified grievances with China’s trade practices and how it uses immigration to carry out large-scale corporate and military espionage in the US, the US should stay out of any potentially kinetic conflicts with it in the Indo-Pacific. Such a conflict could have nuclear implications, and as rational minds can grasp, no one wins in a nuclear conflict.