The US media is having major fun at US President Joe Biden for stumbling in speech and movement at many public events on account of his age of 79 years.
Many aren’t sure if the Speaker of House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi is that stable either, but regardless, they’re the leaders of the most powerful country militarily, scientifically, technologically, economically and socially in the world.
So, some pundits think that when they’re stumbling in Afghanistan, Syria, Iran, Ukraine, Hong Kong and now Taiwan, it’s almost a natural phenomenon.
Pelosi’s last week provocative visit to Taiwan must have been approved by Biden although his White House tried to distance itself from it. Otherwise, Air Force One, military aircrafts and naval warship Ronald Reagan couldn’t have been in tow.
It appears the Biden administration facing multiple economic and political difficulties including the mid-term elections which Democrats are predicted to lose, is trying to deflect domestic attention, otherwise, US public claim to uphold the “One China Policy” is rendered futile.
There’s no logic for this misadventure when NATO is already failing in Ukraine and the misguided sanctions on Russia. The world right now needs wisdom and responsible leadership to uphold multilateralism, consensus building, cooperation, and healthy competition for peaceful coexistence and shared prosperity, and not US threats, open conflicts and hegemony.
Since 1949 when the Communist Party of China (CPC) captured power, the US, has portrayed communism as the major threat to world peace, technological advancement, socio-economic transformation and prosperity.
Yet, during these seven decades, China hasn’t waged any war against any country near or yonder. China has lifted seven hundred million of its population out of extreme poverty into middle-class prosperity. Last year China ended poverty surpassing UN goals.
From a third-world country, China outstripped all US allies in Europe, Canada, Australia, Asia, Arab world, Latin America and Africa to become today’s largest economy in technology, manufacturing and global trade. China is also second military power just behind the US and those that benefited from the massive Marshal Plan after WW2.
And this is regardless of the extensive looting by America and Europe from colonies occupied for over a century before being forced out. It’s also regardless of the entrenched and lopsided trade over many decades after colonialism ended.
Therefore, the tantrums US leaders from Donald Trump and Biden have thrown about since 2016 when Trump assumed office is an attempt in futility. Many pundits think that just like Britain was forced hand back Hong Kong to China in 1997 when its imperial power diminished, the US will eventually give up its meddling in Taiwan.
The assertion that her visit was to demonstrate an unequivocal message that America stands with Taiwan isn’t tenable in the long run considering that the US has just run away from many war theatres much smaller than China. The claim to give Taiwan “freedom with security” isn’t backed either seen against Afghanistan which the US occupied for two decades.
Donald Trump, although never started new wars on a global scale, tried to make China the boogeyman for all US woes from inflation, dilapidated infrastructure, inability to compete in the market and its poor image globally including at the UN.
Yet, even with all the trade tariffs and sanctions against China, the US, according to its own economists seem unable to pick up as its annuals inflation is 40%. Its 50bn USD worth in trade tariff against Chinese imports as of May 2022 is biting both industry and consumers hard, and despite its advanced technology, it lost the highest number of people to Covid-19 whose origin it blames on China.
At 82 years of age, many see Pelosi’s brazen defiance in Taipei more as an ego trip, and Biden with the lowest rating of any US president in modern time are most unlikely to hold the horses beyond their current terms. In the last decade, the US and Britain have attempted to undermine and carry out sabotage in Hong Kong by instigating political discontent and violent riots which all fell flat, and now appear to be on a gradual retreat.
After many years of fanning subterranean conflicts in the Balkans as NATO tries to encircle Russia using Ukraine as a pawn, the conflict now appears unwinnable, at least not on their terms. With the blindsided sanctions slapped on Russia, the results don’t seem to be the intended ones as petroleum, gas and food prices are hitting Europe hardest.
The people who initiated the sanctions as the first tool to control others are now blaming Russia for using food as weapon of war, and they think the rest of the world is as stupid.
Having run away from Afghanistan in humiliation, tried to distabilise China over Hong Kong and issues of Muslim Uyghurs in Xinjiang province, and facing a stalemate and economic turmoil from the misadventures in Ukraine, the US seem to believe that it can now divert attention with provocation over Taiwan. Clearly, the US is running out of viable options.
The writer is the executive director of Uganda Media Centre