By Dr. Moaaz Awan & Ms. Liu Chang
The storm of “American Democracy” is at play again! This time it hits the shores of China’s Breakaway province of Taiwan. Nancy Pelosi, the US House Speaker in total disregard to China’s solemn representations and staunch opposition, went ahead with her visit to China’s Taiwan region.
The move has gravely violated the one-China principle and the stipulations of the three China-U.S. joint communiqués, and gravely impacted the political foundation of China-U.S. relations.
The visit apparently seems like an American Triumph, but one must remember that the Chinese are a 5000-year-old civilization.
Looking back to the start of the US-China trade war, the initial set of tariffs levied by the US were supposed to have a devastating effect on China.
Though the Trade row has not yet ended but the figures speak clearly. The US side to be the clear loser. American consumers and covid patients all suffered due to either unavailability or the increased prices of imports from China.
Improving the Cross Strait relations has been at the center of China’s foreign policy for years now. China, over the years has made sincere and genuine efforts to maintain peace and tranquility in the straits.
Following the 1992 consensus, on “One China Principle”, the cross-strait relations have made outstanding strides.
Since 1992, the economic and trade exchanges between the two sides of the strait have developed rapidly, and the trade volume has increased from 7.41 billion US dollars in 1992 to 328.34 billion US dollars in 2021.
Mainland China is the largest export market and the largest source of trade surplus, which is supporting the stable development of Taiwan’s economy. In 2010, the two sides signed the “Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement” (ECFA), and reduced taxes on as many as 557 products from Taiwan.
Over the past ten years, the ECFA has resulted in reduced taxes by more than US$7 billion for Taiwanese industrial and commercial enterprises exporting products to the mainland, which has greatly increased the interests and well-being of the Taiwanese people.
The mainland also supports Taiwan in taking the lead in sharing the development opportunities of the mainland, and gives people from Taiwan the freedom of working and living in the mainland. Equal treatment, encourage Taiwan youth to come to the mainland to start businesses and employment, continue to deepen the integration and development of the two sides of the strait.
However, the responsibility for peace should not be only on China’s shoulders. The US being the world’s largest economy must shoulder the responsibility of maintaining peace. The Russia-Ukraine conflict is a stark reminder that reckless and unilateral actions have far-reaching consequences.
Aristotle once said, It is more difficult to organize peace than to win a war.
Due to Speaker Pelosi’s visit’s purely symbolic nature, and with so much on the line, experts would question if the benefits outweigh the risks.
However, one thing is for sure. Pelosi’s Tuesdays visit has rocked the boat of China’s goal of “peaceful reunification”. With the start of PLAs live fire drill, how the situation unfolds remains to be seen.
One thing is for sure though, the speakers visit provided the basis for militarization of the Taiwan Straits.
Pakistan reaffirms One-China Principle
Being the Iron Clad and closest friend of China, Pakistan has always stood with China at all times. At this moment, Pakistan reaffirmed its strong commitment to the One-China principle and firmly supported China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Pakistan is deeply concerned about the evolving situation across the Taiwan Strait, which has serious implications for regional peace and stability. The world is already reeling from a critical security situation due to the Ukraine conflict, with destabilizing implications for international food and energy security.
The world cannot afford another crisis that has negative consequences for global peace, security, and the economy. Pakistan strongly believes that inter-state relations should be based on mutual respect, non-interference in internal affairs, and the peaceful resolution of issues by upholding the principles of the UN Charter, the international law, and bilateral agreements.
(Moaaz Awan is a keen China Observer and a Ph.D. Scholar at Tianjin University. His research interests include China Pakistan Economic Corridor, the Belt and Road Initiative and Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
Liu Chang is an Islamabad-based correspondent of China Media Group)