The Taiwan “Crisis”: Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden Belong in Jail

Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden belong in jail. In fact, any world leader who creates situations that make nuclear war possible, belongs in prison. Who gave them or anyone the right to threaten the future of our planet for any reason at all –but especially for no reason whatsoever?

Let me put that another way: Our elected officials have invented out of whole cloth an entirely avoidable crisis with China, a nuclear power. Out of the blue and for no compelling reason at all, they’ve decided to turn Tuesday August 2nd into what Australia’s Sky News described as possibly “the most dangerous day of this century.”

And why? Simply because they can – or they think they can!

They want to demonstrate their conviction that no one can tell U.S. officials what to do.

[What? Are these high school adolescents? No, they’re octogenarians! (Maybe that explains it.) In any case, their “reasoning” is worse than juvenile.]

Get this: they’re convinced that it’s worth risking your life, mine, and those of our grandchildren to make some inane schoolyard point: “No one’s gonna tell me what to do! I’ll show you, even if it kills us all!”

Let me repeat: because they’ve demonstrated such unmistakable immaturity – for nothing more than a public relations stunt – the instigators of this event (the Biden administration and Pelosi) have clearly displayed their stupidity, incompetence and unfitness to hold public office. As a Great Man once said, “Lock them up!”

Why Villainize China?

In fact, this whole villainization of China is puzzling beyond measure.

Why consider it an enemy at all? Think of what the Chinese have accomplished for humankind in an extraordinarily short time. Their system:

  • Has for the last 40 years experienced the fastest economic growth rate of any country in the world.
  • Is on track to displace the United States as the world’s premiere economy by the year 2030 if not before.
  • Has raised more than 800,000,000 people out extreme poverty – and in record time.
  • Has enabled Chinese families (almost 20%of the world’s population) to work decent jobs, feed their families, secure a good education, and enjoy health care, with ever rising expectations.
  • By prioritizing health care during a pandemic, has been far more successful in saving the lives of its citizens than the pitiful response of the United States, which prioritized profits over human life.     
  • Over a period of merely 70 years, has reversed a situation where perhaps a million people each year were dying of starvation to one where life expectancy in China is now longer than that of U.S. citizens.
  • Through their Belt and Road Initiative has constructively engaged the developing world in coordinated efforts to eliminate international problems like hunger, climate change, and decrepit or non-existent infrastructure after centuries of debilitating colonialism and looting at the hands of Europe and the United States.

And yet, the United States treats China as though such accomplishments were somehow bad – as though joblessness, hunger, ignorance, sickness, short life expectancy, and narrow nationalism were preferable to decent jobs, ability to feed one’s family, access to higher education and health care, along with longevity, and foreign aid.

Democracy in China

Obviously, the Chinese people prefer life and prosperity over their opposites. In fact, according to the Pew Research Center, 85 percent of Chinese people in 2013 were satisfied with their government, while only 35 percent of Americans felt the same about their government.

But what about democracy? Am I somehow claiming that China is more democratic than the United States?

Yes, I am.

In fact, according to the report of longtime China resident Cyrus Janssen, that’s the way citizens in China (and Vietnam by the way) perceive their country. Janssen based his report on Denmark’s 2022 “Democracy Perception Index” (see video above). It’s the world’s largest annual study on how people in general perceive democracy.

According to that study, fewer than 50% of Americans feel that the U.S. is truly democratic. By contrast 81% of Chinese feel their country is democratic – and this even though China is a one-party state.

How can that be?

It’s simple. The Chinese people are evidently convinced that a government that meets the needs of its people is more democratic than one who holds periodic elections but ignores the popular will.

Moreover, according the “Democracy Perception Index,” only 5% of Chinese believe their country does not have free and open elections for offices below the country’s presidency.

China’s Problems

None of this is to say that China is somehow without its problems. Like any country – especially one with such a huge and culturally diverse population – China has problems. But lack of democracy, it seems, is not one of them.

Instead, China’s problems include:

  • Threats by the United States, a country with merely 4.6% of the world’s population whose policies indicate that it should be able to control the entire world including China which lies 7000 miles away from the U.S. mainland.
  • A Muslim problem which (unlike the United States) it addresses not by wars and bombing, but by efforts at development and re-education. (Say what you will about the latter, but it’s arguably more enlightened than the U.S. way of dealing with Muslims at home and abroad by waging its forever wars for the last two decades and more.)
  • Taiwan. There is no denying that Taipei and the secessionist tendencies of the ideological descendants of Chiang Kai-shek remain a problem. But in all of this, there are three simple facts to keep in mind: (1) according to three bilateral agreements solemnly signed by the United States and China (1972, 1979, and another in the 1980s) TAIWAN IS PART OF CHINA; (2) apart from the one created by Pelosi, THERE IS NO CRISIS IN TAIWAN, and (3) Without external interference CHINA AND TAIWAN SHOULD BE LEFT TO WORK OUT THEIR DIFFERENCES deliberately and diplomatically at their own pace.

Conclusion

So, how should (even self-serving) diplomats truly concerned with avoiding World War III have dealt with China’s objections to Pelosi’s visit – even if they wanted to portray China as somehow run by a dictatorial madman (which Xi Jinping is not)?

They should have said:

  • Pelosi’s intention in visiting Taiwan was completely innocuous meant only to strengthen economic and political ties with the island that the U.S. has always recognized not only as part of China, but as an important trading partner.
  • Moreover, the United States is committed not to opposing China, but to cooperating with its marvelous and unprecedented economic and social achievements.
  • Yet, China’s president irrationally has decided to turn this peaceful visit into an international incident that (again, irrationally) threatens the entire planet.
  • To prevent the prevalence of such unfounded irrationality and in the interests of world peace, the House Speaker has decided to postpone her visit until such time as cooler heads prevail.

With such explanation, maturity would have been demonstrated on the U.S. side. China’s president would experience no humiliation. And no face would be lost either side.

And finally, at least by any credible moral standard, Biden and Pelosi would have avoided condemnation as the schoolyard bullies and international criminals they are instead proving themselves to be.

As anyone can see, international diplomacy (at least for those concerned about your future, mine and that of our children and grandchildren) is not that hard.

Pelosi and Biden don’t get it. Lock them up!

Published by

Mike Rivage-Seul's Blog

Emeritus professor of Peace & Social Justice Studies. Liberation theologian. Activist. Former R.C. priest. Married for 45 years. Three grown children. Six grandchildren.

2 thoughts on “The Taiwan “Crisis”: Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden Belong in Jail”

  1. Following this logic the Stalinist USSR of the 1930’s was a model of democracy and the forced collectivisation of the Ukrainian kulaks was “reeducation”.
    In fact, the reeducation of the Muslim Uyghurs is taking place in internments camps where they are subjected to forced labor.
    I’m generally on your side re: western colonialism, which the RCC took a leading role in initiating, but if the “Great Man” who said “Lock them up” is DJT then we have reached an impasse.

    Like

    1. Thanks for reading the piece, Larry. Your comment makes me think that I wasn’t clear enough in making my point about re-education camps. It wasn’t necessarily to approve of them. It was instead to make the point that the Chinese way of dealing with their “Muslim Problem” seems preferable to killing Muslims with abandon as is the “American” practice of dealing with Muslims since 2001. Also, I guess I erred in thinking that readers would pick up on the irony of my “Great Man” reference — especially in the light of so many of my postings highly critical of DJT. I’ll try to be clearer going forward.

      Like

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