Commentary: Pelosi’s visit could derail US–China compromise over Taiwan

In the end, this crisis has offered Nancy Pelosi the chance to establish her legacy of toughness on China and support for democracy ahead of the US mid-term elections. It has also given China an opportunity to test its growing military hardware in Taiwanese waters and demonstrate its commitment to sovereignty ahead of the Fall Party Congress.

But the trip as could have been foretold has unleashed a new cycle of mistrust, nationalist escalation and an arms race in the Pacific. The United States and China must urgently establish more robust communication channels, updated arms control mechanisms and bring some stability and peace back to the Taiwan compromise.

Swaran Singh is Professor in the School of International Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and President of the Association of Asia Scholars. He is Visiting Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of British Columbia.

Yves Tiberghien is Professor of Political Science and Director Emeritus of the Institute of Asian Research at the University of British Columbia. He is also a Distinguished Fellow at the Asia-Pacific Foundation of Canada.

This commentary first appeared on East Asia Forum.