By Sergio Rodriguez Gelfenstein *
The visit of the Speaker of the United States’ House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, and the provocation to China that this entails, can only be interpreted as one more step in the escalation of tensions that Washington wants to generate in the world in order to maintain its global hegemony.
The visit pursued two objectives: one of a circumstantial and tactical nature and the other structural and strategic kind. The first aims to respond to and solve the desperate situation of the Democratic Party ahead of the parliamentary elections in November and its projection to the 2024 presidential elections. It seems that the party of Biden and Pelosi will lose control of the United States Congress first and of the White House later, if everything remains as it is, when the president’s disrepute is the highest for the position he occupies since the end of the second world war.
Circumstancial and tactical reasons
Biden and Pelosi are two octogenarians who are already “playing the discounts” in their political life. In these circumstances, when they no longer have anything to lose, they are assuming the “sacrifice” to try to preserve the Democratic Party from the discredit in which it is immersed under their leadership, having been at the pinnacle of glory during the “Obama era.”
Addressing the structural aspect is more complex. America’s economic backsliding spanning the past 40 years is much harder to reverse and may never be able to succeed. Until now, the little machine for producing dollars that Washington own exclusively, its undoubted military power and the unparalleled dominance of the media cultural complex that they handle at will, allows it to avoid the crisis, or at least hide it from public view. However, the pandemic first and the war in Ukraine now have exposed the shortcomings of a system that was not even capable of protecting its citizens or defending them from the evils that afflict the planet.
Structural nature of crisis
Precisely, the structural nature of this crisis is given because, given the inability of the United States to handle the situation, it drags behind it the setbacks facing the capitalist system, revealing its insolvency to solve the most pressing problems of humanity and carry it forward. on a path of development, peace and stability.
In this situation, the American elite tries to recover from the economic crisis, activating its main industry: that of weapons. It is worth mentioning that the domestic arms market of the United States is by far the largest in the world, producing 41.93 billion dollars between October 2016 and September 2017 (I did not obtain a more up-to-date figure but it is known that sales have doubled since the pandemic). The conditions of marginalization of millions of citizens, racism, xenophobia and the encouragement of political conflicts stimulated by the media and the “cultural” apparatus, have contributed to the growing growth of this business in a country where it is possible to buy a AR-15 assault rifle online for about $450, lower than a smartphone.
But it is on the entire planet where the United States does its real business: 800 military bases, 11 aircraft carriers, 20 amphibious assault ships, 21 cruisers, 72 destroyers, 23 landing ships, 68 submarines, in addition to 3,900 aircraft that are structured in seven fleets and 9 regional commands and commands, as well as the military blocs such as NATO, AUKUS, TIAR and others that it has formed with the subordinate countries. These are in charge of promoting the conflict and at least guaranteeing the prosperity of the business on behalf of freedom and democracy.
Precisely today, the sale by the United States to the United Arab Emirates of a batch of interceptor missiles of the THAAD anti-aircraft system , two launch control stations and two tactical operations complexes was announced for a total value of 2,245 million dollars. Likewise, the possible sale of Patriot air defense systems and military equipment to Saudi Arabia was approved for a total of more than 3,000 million dollars. Thus, it is easy to understand the functions of a United States president, given that in his recent visit to the region, Biden did not obtain positive results in political matters, nor in those related to the energy market (key for any leader who travels to this area of the planet).
US military-industrial complex
Now there is a lot of talk about the war in Ukraine, of course in Europe, but there is little mention of the armed conflicts in other parts of the planet caused precisely by the imperialist desire for expansion and global domination. That is to say that in Europe, NATO is stimulating the aggressiveness of Kosovo against Serbia and the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh between Azerbaijan and Armenia. When you look at the map, you can see that from the Baltic to the Mediterranean, NATO’s eastward expansion is the best deal for selling weapons to support the battered US economy.
Likewise, other armed confrontations are active today that are the consequence of almost 5 centuries of occupation and colonial plunder. In this sense, we must mention 5 dynamic conflicts in Central and Western Asia and another 11 (affecting 14 countries) in Africa that expose the reality of this trend. I take this opportunity to indicate that none of these outbreaks of war are manifested in Latin America and the Caribbean despite the attempts of Washington and the local oligarchies to generate them. Despite the efforts to conceive conflicts in our region, the declaration of Latin America and the Caribbean as a zone of peace, approved at the second CELAC Summit in Havana in January 2014, has been imposed.
The political elites of the United States (government and congress) as instruments of the Military Industrial Complex, play their role in this sense. The spur produced for the arms business (the largest in the world) by the three war conflicts in Europe, the 5 in Asia and the 11 in Africa, not counting the occupation of Palestine by Israel and the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic by Morocco, had to add the Asia-Pacific.
But it did not start now. It is a bipartisan state policy: Obama’s declaration of the “Asian pivot” doctrine, Trump’s trade war policy against China and the declaration of Russia as a threat and China as the greatest challenge to Western hegemony, agreed upon at the recent NATO Summit in Madrid, are the political foundation for the 21st century strategic confrontation that the United States hopes to wage with China in the Asia-Pacific region. And in this scheme, the stimulation of the conflict in the seas surrounding China is essential and the role of Taiwan as an instrument of disturbance is essential.
This is what explains Mrs. Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan, in the immediate term, to try to reverse the popularity figures of Biden and the Democratic Party and in the long term, to prevent the economic debacle that is approaching the United States, given the manifests China’s economic, financial, technological and scientific superiority that implies the loss –by peaceful means- of the planetary hegemony of the United States. That is what they are going to try to stop by any means, including the military.
However, for those who assumed that the Chinese response was going to be the shooting down of Pelosi’s plane, the invasion of Taiwan’s territory with a naval force, or the devastation of the island with a barrage of hypersonic missiles, it must be said that it was not. they know nothing about China, its philosophy, its history, or its political and diplomatic practice. On this point, I agree with Josh Rogin, columnist for the Washington Post who stated: “The real crisis around Taiwan could begin after […] Nancy Pelosi returns to the North American country”. Rogin was more explicit when he said: “The biggest impact of Pelosi’s visit will be after she returns home, over weeks, months and years.”
That is the essence of the Chinese response. As always you have to see it in time. Unlike the West, which needs to generate immediate headlines ahead of the upcoming elections, China, according to its philosophy and tradition, will build a long-term response… over months and years, as Rogin says.
The Chinese response, which will begin to take place tomorrow, will manifest itself in different ways. First, in the military field. The operations that are being carried out and that formally begin on Thursday the 4th and end on Monday the 8th are an expression of the largest deployment ever seen in China for an exercise of these characteristics. It includes the use of strategic-level aviation, ground forces and logistics, as well as the deployment of China’s most advanced rocket system, including the DF-17 hypersonic missile that flies at 12,300 km/hour and has a range of 2,500 km. 120 km from the mainland coast of China The DF-17 would take only 35 seconds to reach the island and there is no weaponry or technology to prevent it, not even in the United States. It must be said without euphemisms: if China wanted it, Taiwan would disappear in less than a minute.
The exercise is being held in 6 naval zones south, east, northeast and northwest of Taiwan, to the west it is not necessary, there is the Chinese mainland. That includes the airspace superjacent to the maritime environment where the operations are carried out. Also without euphemisms, Taiwan is surrounded by sea and air. Just yesterday, Taiwan’s defense ministry “denounced” it in a statement stating that China “has invaded territorial waters and adjacent areas” of the island, adding that “Chinese drills violate United Nations rules and are equivalent to a blockade of Taiwan’s air and sea space.”
In this regard, two observations: The first: if the “territory of Taiwan” has been invaded, why did the West do nothing? It is clear that what mattered to the United States was to generate a provocation that would alter the order and stability of the region, it is not at all concerned with the security of the citizens of Taiwan, just as it is neither concerned nor interested in that of the Ukrainians. And for this, the 20 hours that Mrs. Pelosi was on the island were enough. It should also be noted that they use the same concept (invasion) that the West uses to characterize Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine.
Second question: If the Taiwanese territory is surrounded and blocked by air and sea according to the language used by the Taiwan Ministry of Defense, how could Mrs. Pelosi’s plane leave the island without problems? It is clear, China’s objective was never Pelosi, the Chinese government is serious, does not resort to terrorism to assert its rights and also has (as it has shown for millennia) infinite patience to wait for things to happen when the conditions they are given
That said, we can understand that the Chinese response will manifest itself in a different way: the first, the economic one, just yesterday measures began to be taken in this area. It must be remembered that the trade balance between China and Taiwan is in surplus in favor of Taiwan and that although it is true in the 1980s, when the reform and opening policy began, Taiwan was very important to China, it could be said that today, forty years later, it is the other way around. The decisions that China takes in this matter in order to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity, will generate an impact on Taiwan’s economy that the West will not be able to supply as it cannot in Ukraine.
Finally, and here is the truly strategic point: If there was any hesitation in some sectors of the Chinese elite regarding the need to establish a strategic alliance with Russia, those doubts were dispelled. Russia’s support for China at this juncture was immediate and forceful. China, which in 2019 still thought that it could develop its economic and political model in peace and harmony with the United States, “came down from that cloud” when the violent and separatist leaders of Hong Kong were received in the United States Congress where they were He offered financial, logistical, political and diplomatic help to continue his secessionist revolt. Do you know who made that commitment and led the support for the terrorists?: Nancy Pelosi.
Today, after the agreements of the NATO Summit in Madrid and this affront by the United States against China, it must have been clear to the Beijing leadership that the ultimate goal of NATO expansion is China and that the only way The way to avoid it is to build and solidify a strategic alliance with Russia that makes the Eurasian space the territory from which the construction of a world of peace, prosperity and cooperation among the peoples of the planet starts.
The Bible says that when he was old and childless, Abraham asked God to grant him the possibility of procreation. The Lord accepted it and performed a miracle so that Sarah, Abraham’s wife, conceived her son Isaac at the age of 90. Now, it was not necessary to implore God, Mrs. Pelosi’s arrogance and imperial spirit made her, at 82 years old, give birth to and strengthen the strategic alliance between China and Russia that will mark the future of humanity for centuries to come.
* Sergio Rodríguez Gelfenstein is a Venezuelan international relations expert, who was previously Director of the International Relations of the Presidency of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, his country’s ambassador to Nicaragua and an advisor for international politics for TELESUR. Gelfenstein has written numerous books, among them “China in the XXI Century – the awakening of a giant” which has been published in several Latin American countries. You can follow him on Twitter: @sergioro0701