About the Author

Gene Ward

Rep. Gene Ward (R-Hawaii Kai) is a former entrepreneur trainer and consultant with the United Nations in Africa and former Peace Corps volunteer in Asia. He represents the newly numbered District 18 per the 2022 Reapportionment Commission Maps.

The world is definitely upside down when our leaders’ freedom to travel is determined by an adversary. China forbidding the travel of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan as a reason to start a war is ridiculous.

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Even President Vladimir Putin didn’t rattle his sabers when Speaker Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and other powerful members of Congress went to Ukraine and openly met with President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv.

So, what’s going on when China says there will be “serious consequences” if Pelosi visits Taiwan?

Some of this has to do with the maturing of China’s diplomacy. Since it is only recently a superpower, it still speaks like the aggrieved victim and undeveloped nation and underdog it used to be.

At the same time, President Xi Jinping is searching for an auspicious time to justify an invasion of Taiwan, and Pelosi could be used as the excuse and catalyst to invade his neighbor just 100 miles offshore from the Chinese mainland.

Xi’s problem and possible mistake is that he is following very closely Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and keeping score on what he can and cannot do based on Putin’s long and drawn-out example. As the old adage says, “When the diplomats stop talking, the bullets start flying,” and fortunately Xi and President Joe Biden had a good two-hour conversation recently that has probably stopped the clock a bit. But Putin’s influence on China is real and should not be underestimated.

New Taipei, Taiwan
The U.S. House speaker has upset China with a talk of visiting Taiwan. Wikimedia Commons/Ken Marshall

Unfortunately, Xi’s invasion of Taiwan would throw out the window the Chinese Communist Party’s vaunted “non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries.” It would also reinforce what we see China doing in Africa (Djibouti), Asia (Sri Lanka, Myanmar) and now in the Pacific with the Solomon Islands.

Recall the PRC’s sacred oath to preserve Hong Kong’s autonomy for 50 years through 2047? So much for China keeping its word on that, even when it’s in writing. Legitimacy is derived from credibility and trust, and it would appear that today’s CCP no longer values those traits to give peace a chance in the Taiwan Strait.

We in Hawaii have already had a war in the Pacific, and we don’t want another one. China should work out its differences with Taiwan and work to create some type of federation where “one country — three systems” could prevail.

While we should not be fearful of China’ rhetoric about a possible Pelosi trip to Taiwan, it should be noted that China without admitting it has to also be fearful of what Biden said weeks ago about the U.S. supporting Taiwan in the event of an attack by China. Not only did the U.S. weigh in supporting Taiwan, but let us not forget similar commitments from Japan, Australia, and other Asian and Pacific nations that will come to the aid of Taiwan.

This is simply a fact, and this can’t be too comforting to President Xi.

What China risks with an invasion of Taiwan, whether it is with or without a Pelosi excuse, could be catastrophic for China. An invasion of Taiwan is simply a bad idea and would among other things:

  • Severely fracture or ruin an already ailing Chinese economy and alienate its best customer (the U.S.), and cause the world economy to falter, much like the war in Ukraine has denied the world its much needed grain and gas.
  • Secondly, it will sully China’s world stature and growing international reputation and cause nations to question all the good things China has been doing around the world and become suspect and possibly avoid dealing with her.
  • Most importantly, an attack on Taiwan would bring on the wrath of the U.S. and Taiwan’s allies upon the nation of China and deal a serious blow to the world order.

Bottom line from simple risk-reward/cost-benefit analysis, an invasion of Taiwan by China is a high-risk proposition for China, the U.S. and the world, with all of us having more to lose than to gain.

So, ask yourself — should Speaker Pelosi go to China? Given what the upside and downside suggests, she should go to Taiwan. The school yard bully is not the prevailing legal authority in international relations, but it is hopefully wise enough not to waste time and resources on a bad idea.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi can’t be used as an excuse for China to invade Taiwan. It  could be the tripwire to halting China’s great future, and the Chinese people and the world deserve better.

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About the Author

Gene Ward

Rep. Gene Ward (R-Hawaii Kai) is a former entrepreneur trainer and consultant with the United Nations in Africa and former Peace Corps volunteer in Asia. He represents the newly numbered District 18 per the 2022 Reapportionment Commission Maps.

Latest Comments (0)

First of all, let's not equate "China" with what's done by the CCP and its leader Xi Jinping. 90% of the time Xi is playing to an easily manipulated and duped domestic audience. He absolutely cannot appear weak and that's why his standard go-to is whipping up nationalism at home. Especially now that he's trying to cement his "Emperor For Life" status like Mao.Yes, it would not benefit the CCP at all to start a war at this time in history BUT lots of stupid acts are done in the name of vanity and ego. Don't put it past Xi... the importance of the loyalty of the PLA and the generals to him is his main concern. Not economic health, as evidenced by his "Zero Covid" policy.What the Chinese people deserve and what they have are entirely different and irrelevant. In many ways, just like this country.

WhatMeWorry · 1 year ago

I wonder how many people saying "Go Nancy!" or "Don't let China bully us!" have sons and daughters in the military...??MY son will be the one sent in to counter any hostile military response frivolously encouraged by a completely unnecessary visit by Pelosi.We literally just had the UN tell us we are "one step from nuclear annihilation"!!! One mistake, one misstep, and we could find ourselves in WWIII. It is mind-boggling how these people, the author of this article included, can support and encourage such careless and dangerous antics.

LMat · 1 year ago

China doesn't view Taiwan as a separate country; they consider it to be a break-away province, which is indeed how it started back in 1950 when Chang Kai-shek fled there after losing US support for his rule of mainland China over his support of independence for various colonies in Asia (including Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos, all of which are independent countries today).

JohnDeL · 1 year ago

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