Nancy Pelosi arrives at Taipei’s Songshan Airport in August 2022. Image from the Office of the Office of the US House Speaker, available at Wikimedia Commons under CC license.
More than three weeks after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi touched down in Taipei, prompting a show of fury from Beijing that included more than a week of military drills, the CCP’s flagship newspaper continues its editorial onslaught against the congresswoman’s actions. In a piece sprawling across two pages, the newspaper outlines 11 “facts” that reiterate China’s official position.
The article, on pages 17 and 18 of the People’s Daily, is called “Some Facts About Pelosi’s Visit to Taiwan” (佩洛西窜台的若干事实). A slightly abridged version is also available in English. It seems to have undergone extensive preparation, and includes a torrent of accusations: The US “seriously violates China’s sovereignty and security”; it “spreads fake news internationally”; it “violates its own political commitments, and seriously breaks prohibitions in international law against estoppel” [more here]; it is guilty of “bad behavior sabotaging cooperation.”
One of the key points in the piece regarding Pelosi’s visit is the assertion in “Fact 2” that any visit to Taiwan by a member of the US Congress — something that has continued for decades and happened again only recently — is a violation of the Three Joint Communiques between the US and China.
Fortunately, there is a glossary at the outset of the article that lays out the 11 “facts,” as follows.
Fact 1: The one China principle is the political foundation of U.S.-China relations, and its meaning is clear and unambiguous.
Fact 2: Congress is an integral part of the US government, and visits by members of Congress to Taiwan violate the one China principle and the three Joint Communiqués between the US and China.
Fact 3: Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan has nothing to do with democracy, but rather is a political show and a serious provocation that violates China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and challenges the consensus on one China in the international community.
Fact 4: It is the US and the “Taiwan independence” separatist forces that have changed the status quo in the Taiwan Strait and provoked a crisis.
Fact 5: Pelosi’s “scurrying” to Taiwan was planned and provoked by the United States. It was the US and Taiwan that first colluded to provoke, and China defended itself only afterward. China’s counter-measures are firm, strong, and proportionate, in line with domestic and international laws.
Fact 6: It is legal and reasonable for the Chinese military to conduct military exercises and training activities in the waters near China’s island of Taiwan. The source of the trouble is the US “using Taiwan to control China,” which undermines peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and globally.
Fact 7: The vast majority of countries adhere to the one China principle, and it is the United States and a very few countries that are isolated on the issue.
Fact 8: The Taiwan issue is fundamentally different from the Ukraine issue, and there is no comparison between the two.
Fact 9: China’s sanctions against Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan are reasonable and legitimate, and are the due rights of a sovereign country.
Fact 10: Pelosi’s “scurrying” to Taiwan has seriously damaged the political foundation of US-China relations and created obstacles to exchange and cooperation between the two sides, for which the US side must bear full responsibility.
Fact 11: The responsibility for the suspension of climate change talks between China and the United States lies with the US side. On climate change and other global environmental governance issues, China will continue to be committed to international cooperation, and its words will be honored and its deeds will be done.
Pelosi has appeared in more than 70 articles in the People’s Daily so far in August, and could top 80 appearances by the end of the month. This is stratospheric by the standards of the CCP’s flagship newspaper. To put the number in context, consider that the top foreign leader in the People’s Daily in July was US President Joe Biden, who appeared in nine articles. Pelosi is sure to outpace — and by a wide margin — all other foreign political figures in August, a reflection of just how much her visit has infuriated and concerned China.