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Pelosi's trip undermines foundation of Sino-US relations

Source: China Daily GlobalUpdated: 2022-08-04

The Taipei 101 skyscraper commands the urban landscape in Taipei, Taiwan. [Photo/Xinhua]

Nancy Pelosi, second in the line of succession to the US presidency, went ahead with her Taiwan trip despite Beijing's strong disapproval.

Taiwan is internationally recognized as being part of China. The Taiwan question dates back to 1949, when the Kuomintang retreated to the island after their civil war defeat by the People's Liberation Army and the Communist Party of China.

While the United States says it is abiding by the "one China policy", it is clearly breaking the long-term agreement that is the foundation of Sino-US relations.

The US has been meddling in Taiwan's politics for decades. In US diplomatic cables published by Wikileaks, the American Institute in Taiwan, the US' representative office on the island, had regular secret meetings with upcoming politician Tsai Ing-wen before she became the island's leader. They had identified her as a potential ally, or puppet, to serve US interests, in this case someone who could help the US to antagonize Beijing.

Western media propped up Tsai to give her international recognition, and in 2015, she was featured in Time magazine. Thanks to Western support and meddling, she won the 2016 election.

Beijing has wanted to reunite with Taiwan under "one country, two systems", under which Taiwan would enjoy a high degree of autonomy and keep its political system and even its armed forces. China wanted to replicate the system they had applied to Hong Kong since the city's return to the motherland in 1997 after one-and-a-half centuries of British rule.

This is the main reason the US instigated a color revolution in Hong Kong in 2019. The purpose was to scare off Taiwan, to demonize Beijing in its handling of Hong Kong and allow the Democratic Progressive Party, the party of Tsai Ing-wen that supports "Taiwan independence", to remain in power from 2020 onward.

The US has a window of opportunity. The second and last mandate for US puppet Tsai will end in 2024, the DPP is losing support, and it might lose to the pro-reunification Kuomintang in the next election.

This would negate for a while the US aspiration to further divide Taiwan and the Chinese mainland.

Looking back at the 2019 Hong Kong riots, it seems obvious that Hong Kong had been used to further the US agenda to "divide and conquer", to demonize China in the eyes of the world, but most important, in the eyes of Taiwan. The timing of the riots had been perfect for the pro-"independence" DPP. Before the Hong Kong riots, the DPP had an approval rating of only 35 percent, yet it ended up winning with a 57 percent majority.

People in the streets of Hong Kong thought they were out fighting for a "just cause", manipulated by the usual suspects who instigate chaos and "color revolutions" around the world. Those protesters/rioters and in some cases terrorists were in fact doing the job of undermining the "one country, two systems" principle that they claimed Beijing was not respecting. What the manipulated Hong Kong protesters didn't grasp was that "one country, two systems "could be kept only if Chinese sovereignty was maintained over Hong Kong, and this is why the long-awaited National Security Law for Hong Kong was essential.

I like to believe that, in reality, Hong Kong's return to China was not in 1997 but in 2020, when the National Security Law was enacted, allowing Hong Kong to finally decolonize, kicking out foreign agents and penalizing treason and subversion.

Only time will teach those who bought into the US-sponsored Hong Kong "color revolution". Events are unfolding around the world in which "useful states" are being used to fight proxy wars. Hong Kong's 2019 unrest was nothing but a proxy war waged by the collective West, similar to the usual "divide and conquer" approach used throughout time by the imperial powers.

Time will bring maturity to the unsatisfied supporters of the 2019 protests. Hong Kong-elected politicians, meanwhile, will have to deliver tangible results and must fulfill the social contract that the government has with Hong Kong residents by maintaining stability and tackling poverty and housing issues.

Ultimately, legitimacy will come from the results and the satisfaction level of the people. Satisfaction levels vary around the world. Western democracies haven't much to teach the world when it comes to citizens' satisfaction, which is why Hong Kong should not be duped into replicating failed foreign systems but instead should have its own system adapted to its needs and characteristics.

People in Hong Kong had been duped into believing that Western-style democracy was the ultimate model. Wise people should learn from efficient models, not from failing ones.

Hong Kong will keep on learning, adapting, finding its way and perpetuating "one country, two systems" by maintaining a high degree of autonomy.

Taiwan may also come to its senses one day and see what its interests are, and realize that another "one country, two systems" case is applicable. Just as Hong Kong went through its bumps, Taiwan will also go through some challenges, but ultimately rationality and wisdom should prevail. The Chinese mainland and Taiwan will be reunited and proud to share the same history and destiny.

The author is a Swiss financial and political analyst based in Hong Kong.

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