Sheer example of Carthaginian treachery in international relations

People gather in front of the Federal Building in San Francisco, California, U.S., August 1, 2022, to protest Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan. /CFP

People gather in front of the Federal Building in San Francisco, California, U.S., August 1, 2022, to protest Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan. /CFP

Editor’s Note: Kong Qingjiang, Dean of the School of International Law, China University of Political Science and Law. Zhai Yucheng is a part-time senior researcher at the Institute of International Rule of Law, China University of Political Science and Law. Articles reflect the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of CGTN.

U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan despite strong Chinese opposition. This is a blatant violation of the one-China principle of the three US-China communiqués. Unfortunately, there is a bizarre saying: Pelosi is the representative of the House first and foremost.

Based on the principle of separation of powers in the U.S. Constitution, the U.S. government has no right to restrict the behavior of representatives. Therefore, Pelosi’s visit is a “private” visit and has nothing to do with the official US stance on China. Needless to say, such a statement is tantamount to saying that the US government has not violated its international obligations. A careful look at the three communiqués reveals that such a claim is untenable.

The Shanghai Communiqué on February 28, 1972, the Joint Communiqué on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations in 1978, and the August 17, 1982 Communiqué on Arms Sales to Taiwan with One China at the Core The political and legal basis of Sino-US relations.

In the above-mentioned communiqué, the United States clearly recognized the People’s Republic of China as the sole legitimate government of China. In this context, the American people will maintain cultural, commercial and other unofficial relations with the people of Taiwan.

The statement further reiterated that it has no intention to violate China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, to interfere in China’s internal affairs, or to pursue the “two Chinas” or “one China, one Taiwan” policy. These promises are black and white, with no room for ambiguity and no denying.

Unfortunately, almost at the same time that China and the United States formally established diplomatic relations, the US Congress passed the Taiwan Relations Act. This domestic legislation aims to maintain the “official” and military relationship between the United States and Taiwan in disguise. This act seriously violated the three Sino-US joint communiqués and the basic principles of international law, and was used as a weapon and tool to interfere in China’s internal affairs and obstruct the reunification of Taiwan and the Chinese mainland.

However, it must be pointed out that the handling of inter-state relations must be based on recognized international law and the basic norms of international relations, rather than domestic law. From an international law perspective, the Taiwan Relations Act has no place at all in US-China relations.

As a generally recognized rule of customary international law, no state can derogate from its obligations under international law on the grounds that it conflicts with domestic law. Therefore, even if the United States is accustomed to pursuing its own laws above international law, this approach will not change the fact that it violates international law.

Nancy Pelosi is currently Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and the No. 3 figure in the U.S. leadership. The three joint communiqués and the one-China principle are commitments made by the US government, not just the US government’s commitment to the Chinese government and people.


U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi visits the Capitol in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, August 2, 2022. /CFP

U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi visits the Capitol in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, August 2, 2022. /CFP

Nor were commitments made solely by the Nixon, Carter or Reagan administrations. So it’s clear that even if Pelosi is still planning her trip, separation of powers or other domestic law excuses cannot be used to allow violations of international commitments. In this case, allowing or even encouraging Pelosi to visit would be gross perfidy. The Biden administration was supposed to prevent Pelosi from visiting Taiwan, a clear breach of U.S. commitments under the three joint communiques.

Regrettably, in the face of the serious situation that Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan may cause, senior officials such as US Secretary of State Blinken mistakenly believed that Pelosi had the right to go to Taiwan and that it was her own decision, implying that her visit had nothing to do with the Biden administration’s foreign affairs. department. Even President Biden downplayed that the military didn’t think Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan was a good idea. Against this background, it can be said that the Biden administration has not fulfilled the international obligations of the United States.

Over the years, successive U.S. administrations, especially the previous two administrations, have often downplayed the three joint communiques out of geopolitical needs, and even eroded, tampered with, and hollowed out the one-China principle with the passage of Taiwan-related issues. Acts such as the Taiwan Travel Act and the Taiwan Assurance Act. All of this is shaking the foundations of Sino-US relations.

Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan has worsened Sino-US relations and cross-strait relations, which is a typical Carthaginian perfidy. There is an old saying in China that if people do not act with integrity, the country cannot do anything.

It makes no sense to shirk its international obligations under the pretext of the separation of powers or other provisions of U.S. domestic law. This is tantamount to another blow to the credibility of the United States, because the world will see its true colors and look down on what a “rules-based” international order is.

(If you would like to contribute and have specific expertise, please contact us at opinion@cgtn.com. Follow @thouse_opinions Discover the latest comments in the CGTN Opinion section on Twitter. )

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button