Why Did China Let Pelosi Land On Taiwan?
Nobody should ever forget that China is a millennia-old civilization with literally thousands of years of diplomatic experience. Its strategists have always planned far ahead of time and have the patience to wait until the right moment to act, or even better, preemptively shape the circumstances according to which its opponents will react so that it can always have the advantage.
US Speaker Nancy Pelosi landed in the Chinese region of Taiwan on Tuesday night after Beijing advised against her visiting the island. This provocation wasn’t stopped in advance despite speculation that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) might directly intervene to prevent her visit. That, however, shouldn’t be interpreted as weakness on China’s part nor as any tacit approval of her trip. Rather, it speaks to the pragmatism of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and its long-term strategic planning.
To explain, it was obvious that the third person in line for the US presidency was provoking a crisis for reasons that had nothing to do with her official explanation of wanting to strengthen relations between her country and that Chinese region. America already has a broad range of informal relations with Taiwan, including those that arguably violate its One China policy such as its arming of that region’s forces. She didn’t have to visit the island against Beijing’s wishes to reaffirm that point.
Rather, the US’ permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies (“deep state”) seem to have concluded that it’s time to begin what might ultimately be the drawn-out process of wrapping up their proxy war on Russia through Ukraine in order to get back on track “containing” China in the coming future. To that end, they plotted to provoke a crisis with that country to serve as the “face-saving” pretext for gradually disengaging from Eastern Europe and redirecting their focus to East Asia.
Kiev’s spree of military defeats since the start of the Ukrainian Conflict, which have continued into the present day despite the dispatch of much-hyped Western heavy weaponry like the HIMARS, has contributed to weakening Western unity over that country’s cause. The European energy crisis that’s preceding the coming winter has already prompted speculation that some leading countries in that bloc might pressure Kiev to cede more territory to Moscow as part of a compromise for ending the conflict.
Aware of these strategic trends that play to Russia’s favour over the long term, American decisionmakers seem to have decided that it’s best to prepare for reviving their declining unipolar hegemon’s so-called “Pivot to Asia” as soon as possible, ergo the crisis that Pelosi was ordered to provoke with China. The US has already declared that major country to be a so-called “peer competitor” and many of its commentators have argued for years that it represents a “systemic threat to American leadership”.
Russia, by contrast, is condescendingly regarded by them as a “regional power” that’s only capable of disrupting the countries around it. That’s not to imply any credence to these observations by repeating them, but just to point out how the US elite see China and Russia respectively in the context of what many are calling the New Cold War. This grand strategic reorientation from “containing” Russia to attempting to once again do the same to China requires a crisis in order to serve as its public pretext.
Therein lies the significance of Pelosi’s provocative trip to Taiwan, but Beijing was well aware of this obvious plot far ahead of time and wisely chose not to make everything easier for Washington. This explains why the PLA wasn’t ordered to directly intervene in preventing her landing on that island. Doing so would have instantly redirected the entire focus of the US military against China instead of keeping it divided between that country, Russia, and Iran like it is at present.
The writing is on the wall and everyone sees which direction the New Cold War is going. The US’ efforts to “contain” Russia through Ukraine have failed, yet it can’t admit defeat there. That’s why it’s stirring up trouble with China in order to deceive the Western masses that this artificially manufactured crisis caused by Pelosi’s needless provocation is supposedly much more important for their declining unipolar hegemon’s grand strategic interests, ergo the need to disengage from Europe and “Pivot to Asia” again.
None of this will play out right away after China wisely avoided the trap that was being set for it by tempting the PLA to directly intervene in stopping Pelosi’s flight to Taiwan. Beijing simply bought time to better position its military forces ahead of what appears to be the next inevitable phase of the New Cold War that’ll likely begin playing out in earnest sometime next year after the high possibility of some sort of compromise being struck in Ukraine around this winter for the earlier explained reasons.
Nobody should ever forget that China is a millennia-old civilization with literally thousands of years of diplomatic experience. Its strategists have always planned far ahead of time and have the patience to wait until the right moment to act, or even better, preemptively shape the circumstances according to which its opponents will react so that it can always have the advantage. That’s precisely what appears to be playing out in real time as Chinese society prepares for so-called “war-footing”.
This, however, doesn’t mean that a hot war is imminent but just that everyone in this civilization-state is now aware that the Chinese-American phase of the New Cold War is inevitable and will enter into effect sooner rather than later. By wisely refusing to fall into the US’ trap by declining to directly intervene in preventing Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan, China sent the signal to its compatriots that everyone must prepare for the coming struggle, which there’s still time to do after they ensured that it didn’t start right away.
America arrogantly thought that it could trick China into reacting to the circumstances that the US itself had shaped, but it should have known better than to assume that such a cheap tactic would succeed against this millennia-old civilization-state. There’s no doubt that China will shape the circumstances that’ll force America to act before it’s ready, but this will be at a time of Beijing’s choosing. Its strategists have supreme patience and thus no interest in doing this until the perfect moment.
Bearing this in mind, it can be said that Beijing reversed the trap that Washington had set for it with Pelosi’s provocative visit to Taiwan. The US will now act according to the circumstances that China will shape instead of the inverse. The American military will nonetheless begin refocusing its efforts towards the Asia-Pacific as a result of this artificially manufactured crisis, but the PLA will be ready for them and the Pentagon won’t be able to predict the “surprises” that’ll be waiting for it by that time.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Voice of East.