Steve Chapman’s Chicago Tribune column "On Taiwan, China is hurting its own cause" is pretty far off base in analyzing recent US provocations against China over Taiwan and China’s response.
For starters, he failed to characterize both Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan and Biden’s commitment to defend Taiwan as irresponsible provocations that would absolutely provoke a Chinese response. They continue the 7 years of America’s ‘pivot to Asia’ started by President Obama and continued uninterrupted by Trump and Biden, largely overturning our One China Policy begun by President Nixon in 1972.
Then to characterize China’s relatively measured tit for tat response as “designed to terrorize Taiwan and the US into acts of appeasement” or “conducting a dry run in preparation for an attack on Taiwan” is ludicrous.
China’s response was simply their way of instructing the US that senseless provocations when there is not even a hint of invasion will generate blowback. US recklessness has now made life for Taiwan’s 23 million folks more uncomfortable for no valid US reason whatsoever. Additionally, it’s cut off critically needed US China dialogue on impending climate catastrophe.
Comparing a potential Chinese invasion to Russia’s actual invasion is also ridiculous. US, NATO and Ukraine provocations over 14 years beginning with our 2008 declaration to incorporate Ukraine into NATO, and Ukraine’s 8 year civil war against the Russian speaking folks in Donbas, enabled by the US, made the Russian invasion virtually inevitable, albeit unnecessary and criminal.
But it’s the overall tone of Chapman’s column that truly disappoints. It’s written from the standpoint of American exceptionalism that pits largely manufactured foreign adversaries aligned against pure and virtuous America. That thinking is what is led the US down the road to proxy (and possible nuclear) war with Russia over Ukraine, possible war with China over Taiwan, and a third against Iran over America’s trying to stop a nuclear weapons program that doesn’t exist.
A Chapman column on that those actual and impending catastrophes would be well worth reading.
Walt Zlotow became involved in antiwar activities upon entering University of Chicago in 1963. He is current president of the West Suburban Peace Coalition based in the Chicago western suburbs. He blogs daily on antiwar and other issues at www.heartlandprogressive.blogspot.com.