Africans see through US ploy in Pelosi visit

Lawmaker's trip a destabilizing tactic showing arrogance, analysts say

Photo taken on Feb 28, 2022 shows the US Capitol building, seen through a barrier fence, in Washington, DC, the United States. (PHOTO / XINHUA)

African analysts have condemned last week's visit to Taiwan by top US lawmaker Nancy Pelosi, saying her actions were aimed at destabilizing the region and undermined efforts for global peace.

David Monyae, director of the Center for Africa-China Studies at the University of Johannesburg, said the visit by the speaker of the US House of Representatives has escalated tensions between the United States and China. It shows that the US is reneging on its promise to respect the one-China policy, he said.

"The visit is problematic as it is provocative and unnecessary," Monyae said. "It shows some hegemonic arrogance on the part of the US. It is meant to undermine the one-China principle, and China's territorial integrity and sovereignty."

He said that with African countries' strong trading ties with China, any destabilization that occurs in the region would hurt economies across Africa.

Monyae said Pelosi's visit to the island was also aimed at influencing more countries to defy the one-China policy. African countries should reject the US' actions to divide China, he said.

However, Monyae said the Sino-US tensions could be resolved "through peaceful means and dialogue". But in order for this to happen, the US must stick to its word.

China has responded to the provocation by imposing sanctions on Pelosi and members of her immediate family. Pelosi landed in Taiwan on Aug 2. China also suspended dialogue with the US in some channels involving military relations, climate change and other matters.

Alex Mashilo, a member of the national executive committee of the South African Communist Party responsible for communications, said Pelosi's visit was "well calculated to provoke China". The US provoked a conflict in Ukraine and would like to see the same thing happen in Taiwan, he said.

"The main target of provocation is China. Nancy is an integral part of the imperialist regime of the US.It's an attack on China's sovereignty and territorial integrity and the US must take full responsibility for their actions," he said.

"By Pelosi visiting Taiwan it shows that the US is colluding with some separatist forces to divide China," Mashilo said. "China reserves its rights on its territorial integrity and sovereignty. It has a right to protect that. China is a powerful country and has a right to defend itself. We do not want a war and do not want to see that part of the world being destabilized. Taiwan is an inalienable part of China."

Mashilo called on the "peace-loving international community" to condemn the US' actions.

He said for the strains between China and the US to ease, the latter must stop "manufacturing tensions". He said the US is the aggressor in these situations. Mashilo said if the US stops interfering in the internal affairs of China, the relations between the two nations can improve.

Dennis Munene, the executive director of the China-Africa Center at the Africa Policy Institute, said the global community must condemn Pelosi's visit given the risk that it could usher in the return of Cold War geopolitics.

"Currently, the world is facing unprecedented challenges emanating from the socioeconomic impacts of COVID-19 and the Russia-Ukraine conflict. We don't need any other instability," he said. "Peace and development are inextricably linked and must be protected at all cost."

The scholar said Africans must speak with one voice and condemn the actions of those who want to destabilize the world. Africa recognizes that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China's territory and any issue within the Taiwan Straits is purely an internal affair of China, Munene said.

The writer is a freelance writer for China Daily.