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Dear Nancy – OpEd

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Dear Nancy

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Good that you, Biden and the US military appear to have decided that a stopover or even a layover in Taipei is an unnecessary provocation which would not serve the interests of the American, Taiwanese or the rest of the world.  Apparently war hawks and wannabe Republican leaders such as former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo who had tweeted that they will accompany you on your possible trip to Taiwan have also chickened out.

This development seems to be taking place following the warning by Chinese state media commentator and Global Times editor Hu Xijin on Twitter that you and other accompanying congress members will be targeted.

“If US fighter jets escort Pelosi’s plane into Taiwan, it is an invasion. The Chinese military has the right to forcibly dispel Pelosi’s plane and the US fighter jets, including firing warning shots and making tactical movement of obstruction. If ineffective, then shoot them down,” Xijin wrote in a tweet, which has been removed due to violation of Twitter rules.

Given the conservative media bad mouthing of you and Biden on the apparent capitulation to Beijing, you may still want to change your mind. 

But here’s some advice which will not only serve the cause of peace but also your own political and financial interests. 

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Firstly, as the third most important political leader of the United States you should be focusing on the domestic problems of your country rather than take off on what has been described as a junket, publicity-seeking excursion, or propaganda exercise by your Republican and Democratic colleagues and the conservative media. 

As representative of California’s 12th congressional district you must know that your district – as with the rest of San Francisco – is in a deep crisis from homelessness, drugs, crime and security, migrants, climate change and a host of other socio-economic and political problems which have been mismanaged or unattended for the last decade or more. 

You will have known of the severity of these domestic issues even before you won office more than 30 years ago. It is better for the voters who have put their faith and trust in you that you devote the rest of your political time to resolving these issues instead of wandering off to parts of the world which everyone knows you have little interest in or concern about. The fact that you are doing this during the Congress summer recess is still no excuse for this particular jaunt. 

By comparison. a trip to the border with Mexico to help put the spotlight on how the United States is mishandling its worst migrant crisis would be a bigger PR win for you and the Democrats. It would certainly bolster your official resume which lauds your liberal and progressive domestic record.   

Some less charitable critics have suggested that it is also better for you to spend more time guiding your husband who apparently has recently taken a beating in the share market. Paul quite rightly sold off $4.1 million in Nvidia stocks at a loss, according to a filing while Congress was considering legislation offering billions of dollars in subsidies and tax credits to assist the U.S. semiconductor industry. According to reports, this sale cost the Pelosi family $341,365 in the transaction. 

Earlier you will have received criticism about Paul’s Nvidia stock purchases which led to calls to crack down on insider trading in Congress. According to the Washington Examiner which regards you as the most important woman leader in the world

Pelosi and her husband are already astoundingly wealthy. But their behavior in this matter evinces a sense of entitlement that goes beyond any amount of wealth. She wants one set of rules for everyone else in the country — they are not allowed to trade on insider information even if they somehow obtain it — and another one for herself and her family.

Correcting your domestic record or image does not really necessitate travel to and setting off a fire in the China part of the world.  Here’s some advice and guidance from some key players that your media team may have missed passing to you

From Chinese President Xi Jinping’s recent phone chat with Joe Biden 

“Resolutely safeguarding China’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity is the firm will of the more than 1.4 billion Chinese people. … Those who play with fire will perish by it.”

From Trump on China

According to National Security Adviser John Bolton’s memoir, Trump liked to point to the tip of one of his Sharpies and say, “This is Taiwan,” then point to the Resolute desk in the Oval Office and say, “This is China.”

“Taiwan is like two feet from China,” Trump told one Republican senator. “We are 8,000 miles away. If they invade, there isn’t a f***ing thing we can do about it.”

From US China Agreement of 1979

““The United States of America and the People’s Republic of China have agreed to recognize each other and to establish diplomatic relations as of Jan. 1, 1979.

“The United States recognizes the Government of the People’s Republic of

China as the sole legal Government of China. Within this context the

people of the United States will maintain cultural, commercial and other

unofficial relations with the people of Taiwan.

The United States of America and the People’s Republic of China reaffirm

the principles agreed on by the two sides in the Shanghai Communiqué of

1972 and emphasize once again that both sides wish to reduce the danger

of international military conflict. Neither should seek hegemony — that

is the dominance of one nation over others —in the Asia‐Pacific region

or in any other region of the world and each is opposed to efforts by

any other country or group of countries to establish such hegemony.

“Neither is prepared to negotiate on behalf of any other third party or to enter

into agreements or understandings with the other directed at other

States.

“The Government of the United States of America acknowledges the Chinese position that there is but one China and Taiwan is part of China””

Finally, Nancy, here is my own proposal. I and also many others I am sure would like to sponsor a trip for you to Xinjiang, Hongkong, Tibet and other parts of China where you may have concerns about so that you have the opportunity to speak to the people there about your take on the many problems of China and how you are helping lead them to democracy, freedom and the American Dream.

Your Admirer,

Lim Teck Ghee

Lim Teck Ghee PhD is a Malaysian economic historian, policy analyst and public intellectual whose career has straddled academia, civil society organisations and international development agencies. He has a regular column, Another Take, in The Sun, a Malaysian daily; and is author of Challenging the Status Quo in Malaysia.

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