The space of the bilateral relationship has been narrowing for some time and experts warn of a stalemate in Washington
China has raised the response to Pelosi’s trip with sanctions and freezing or suspending cooperation mechanisms
With the war in Ukraine and its consequences open, the president of the United States, Joe Bidenneeded on his political agenda anything but a crisis with China, the great power that represents its main “strategic competitor & rdquor; and with whom the tense relations for the competition military, economic and ideological had already reached a low point. But a crisis, that already appears volatile bilateral relationship on the precipiceThis is what the controversial visit to Taiwan by his party colleague and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, has put on the table for the Democrat.
After the 19 hours she spent on the self-governing island that China claims as part of its territory, Pelosi, second in the line of US presidential succession and the most prominent politician to visit Taiwan since another ‘speaker’, Newt Gingrich, did so in 1997, events have been taking place that underline the dangers of a climb and shoot the fears in the region. And the tidal wave also chisels them questions about Biden’s China policy and its future.
This Friday, while the military exercises with live fire announced until Sunday continued, which have caused what Taipei has denounced as a maritime and air blockade, and also after Chinese ships and planes crossed the dividing line of the strait and for its missiles to enter Japan’s exclusive economic zone for the first time, China announced unspecified sanctions on Pelosi and her immediate family.
In a step with more significant consequences, Beijing also reported the suspension or freezing of various cooperation mechanisms with the US. Specifically, China has announced that it is canceling work meetings between the two defense ministries, maritime security dialogues and communications between regional military commands.
In addition, it suspends talks on climate change between the two most polluting powers, responsible for practically 40% of fossil fuel emissions. It also paralyzes cooperation in anti drug measures, one of the fields in which, as in the environment, the bilateral dialogue had so far borne fruit, as well as in the fight against transnational crimein the repatriation of undocumented migrants and in assistance criminal investigations.
A heightened crisis
The breaking of these lines of collaboration is the last headache for the US and for Biden in their relationship with China. Privately and through advisers, the president tried to talk Pelosi out of making the tripwarning him especially of the particularly delicate moment in which he arrived. Xi Jinping He faces the Communist Party congress in which with his reelection he will cement his power, and he needs the hard line with Taiwan to alleviate internal criticism on other issues such as the economy or the pandemic.
Biden also questioned whether the trip was timely in public and did so with references to the doubts shown by the US military, a message from internal discrepancies which contrasted with the unison voice from China of denunciation and indignation at Pelosi’s trip.
Finally the Democrat was forced to defend the autonomy of the leader of the legislature and has now also been forced to put the full weight of your Administration in denouncing China’s response. She has searched for allied support, that he achieved with the communiqué of the foreign affairs ministers of the G7 in which they urged China “not to unilaterally change the status quo in the region by force and resolve differences by peaceful means & rdquor ;.
This Friday his Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, denounced in Cambodia that “China has chosen to use the visit of the ‘speaker’ Pelosi as a pretext to increase its provocative military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait. there is no justification for this extreme, disproportionate and escalating military response & rdquor ;, said the head of US diplomacy.
Isolated and confronted
Washington insists that the status quo has not changed either, that it maintains its policy of “a single chinese” and the “strategic ambiguity” with Taiwan. But one of the problems for Biden is that this crisis triggered by Pelosi’s trip comes in the wake of a degeneration of relations between Washington and Beijing of which experts such as Ryan Hass, a former diplomat in the Barack Obama Administration and now at the Brookings Institution, warned in advance, who already wrote in July that “Communication channels to manage tensions have collapsed”.
According to other experts who have spoken to the US press these days, the US also faces the problem of having “overmilitarized” the question of China before the absence of specific economic plans and others warn that they have stagnant both idiplomatic ideas as the US military adaptation nagainst the progression of China.
Although the beijing military budget is still 36% of the US, It has grown 72% in the last decade. And in countries in the region, where there is more reluctance to US needs such as stationing troops or basing long-range missiles on their territory, the erosion of the credibility of the US military deterrent.