Xi uses Pelosi’s Taiwan visit to evoke nationalistic fervour. It backfires

The Communist Party of China exploited US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan to incite nationalistic fervour among its people. Still, it is now trying to explain the situation after the public began calling for drastic measures against the self-governing island, including banning all trade.

The visit of US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan sparked patriotic fervour in mainland China, which regards the autonomous island as a part of its territory, with many internet users calling for their government to take more assertive action. On Weibo, China’s Twitter-like microblogging platform, Pelosi’s visit was among the most discussed and contested topics. Weibo eventually crashed briefly. (Read More | US military might put China’s haughtiness in its place during Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan)

xi uses pelosi's taiwan

Military watchers and commentators viewed Beijing’s announcement of the largest-ever military drills encircling Taiwan and the prohibition on the export and import of specific goods to the self-governing island as a fitting response to Pelosi’s visit.

Military observers and analysts thought Beijing’s announcement of the largest-ever military exercises encircling Taiwan and the ban on the export and import of particular items to the autonomous island were appropriate responses to Pelosi’s visit.

They demanded more brutal action, even advocating for a complete halt to commerce with Taiwan, arguing that the import ban on fruit constituted an unfairly lax economic penalty.

The hashtags “Several countries released a statement opposing Pelosi’s Taiwan visit” and “Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement claimed Taiwan is completely China’s internal affairs” were trending at number 2 and number 3, respectively. The internet users also brought up Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul Pelosi, who was charged with DUI on May 29 and was due in court on August 3—the day the US House Speaker was visiting Taiwan.

Since it became known that the US House Speaker will be visiting Taiwan, the hashtag “#PLA will unleash a series of targeted military actions” has gained popularity.

The CPC is attempting to quietly justify the situation and extraordinary public opinion through some official propaganda channels, even though the aggressive military drills appear designed to maintain famous satisfaction. Some commentators sympathetic to the Chinese Communist Party tried to downplay the cross-strait dispute by referring to Taiwan as merely a “piece” in the “great chess game”, while the public tried to make the issue into a Sino-US one.

However, it was emphasised that this is “far from the extent of letting the situation get out of control and forcing China and the United States to embark on a military confrontation entirely.” The Communist Youth League article discussed punishing individuals who “stir the hornets’ nest of Taiwan.”

Even while the visit transformed the Indo-Pacific into a new theatre of conflict with significant military implications for QUAD nations, the military strength of the United States had already demonstrated to China its role in this so-called excellent chess game. China joined the usual suspects, including Palestine, Syria, Iran, Russia, and Nicaragua, in denouncing Pelosi’s visit. In response, Pakistan reiterated its support for the “one-China” policy.

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