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Untangling the Taiwanese question

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, right is greeted by Taiwan's foreign minister Joseph Wu as she arrives in Taipei, Taiwan, Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022. Pelosi arrived in Taiwan on Tuesday night despite threats from Beijing of serious consequences, becoming the highest-ranking American official to visit the self-ruled island claimed by China in 25 years.Associated Press

I applaud James Pindell’s analysis of the complicated implications of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan (“A Pelosi trip to Taiwan could be the most important event in world politics this summer,” Online, July 29). As Pindell said, her visit is not unequivocally wise or simpleminded.

As Pelosi lands in Taipei, her visit raises a question underlying Taiwan’s democratic autonomy: How do we hold China accountable for its human rights persecutions without pushing the nuclear button or facing recession?

As much as the United States has invested in its factories, Chinese manufacturing and trading status remains irreplaceable in the global economy. Pressuring China over its human rights record with an economic sanction would bring financial turmoil far greater than just a rise in gas prices.


At the same time, any military move by the United States to defend democracy against China would bring the world closer to doomsday, as China seeks to display its military strength whenever it sees an encroachment upon its territory.

Throughout the decade I spent in mainland China and Hong Kong, President Xi Jinping continued to tighten his grasp on the Chinese citizens and autonomous territories. Before Western leaders sought to untangle the Taiwanese question, thousands looked to the United States not for hope, but for an answer.

Andrew Yuan