方恩格/裴洛西若訪台雷聲大雨點小 台灣無須小題大作

我們想讓你知道…綜觀時局,裴洛西不太可能做出什麼承諾,除了口頭上表達對民主同盟價值與道義上支持之外,台灣民眾無須過度期待她會做出大動作挺台灣的實質作為。

▲美國眾議院議長裴洛西今日起展開亞洲行,首站到訪新加坡。(圖/路透)

● 方恩格(Ross Darrell Feingold)/前美國共和黨海外部亞太區主席

美國眾議院議長裴洛西是否訪台的議題真是撲朔迷離,目前她很有可能已經在前往台灣的路途中,也有可能已決定取消行程。自從《金融時報》爆料她可能訪台的消息,隨後關於中共反應、拜登總統與美國軍方的反對、7月28日拜習通話、還有也來參一腳的川普前總統對於裴洛西的批評等,各媒體與專家在過去一周對於裴洛西訪台一事做出了鋪天蓋地的報導與評論。

近來只要傳出美國有政治人物要訪台,兩岸都會立刻過度反應。雖然根據美國憲法,在美國總統繼任順序中,眾議院議長是繼副總統後的第二順位,就官階來看,裴洛西訪台似乎讓中國十分感冒,但筆者想在此呼籲台灣民眾無須小題大作,因為裴洛西不是該職級上第一位訪台的人。1997年美國的眾議院議長金瑞契(Newt Gingrich)訪問過台灣,與他會面的是當時在任的李登輝總統。

即將卸任議長擬訪台 台灣無須小題大作

我們無須小題大作的其他幾個原因,還包括了裴洛西即將離任議長一職。而共和黨很有可能會在11月的眾議院選舉中贏得多數席位。就算民主黨保留多數席位,民主黨團仍可能會選出新的議長,所以裴洛西再續任的可能性極低。而她與台灣的官方往來也已有前例,蔡總統過境美國時,有與裴洛西通過電話。今年年初,賴清德副總統也曾與裴洛西進行過視訊通話。

儘管裴洛西在香港、西藏和新疆等與中國相關問題上扮演了重要角色,但就軍購、促成自由貿易協定等台美合作相關議題上,她並沒有特別傑出的貢獻。之前有國會議員團向裴洛西議長提議邀請蔡英文總統赴美國國會演講,但她對此已讀不回。

站在現實面,一位即將離任的政治人物以納稅人的錢進行海外參訪,這不就是我們在台灣所說的「畢業旅行」嗎?而共和黨在今年期中選舉力打反中牌、批判民主黨對中態度不夠強硬,裴洛西很有可能想利用這趟造訪台灣的畢業旅行來幫民主黨來扳回一城顏面。

裴洛西不太可能做出什麼承諾 若訪台也只是雷聲大雨點小

若裴洛西訪台確定成行,筆者認為值得觀察的幾個要點如下:

一、她會在台灣停留多久?金瑞契當年只在台灣短暫停留了數小時,並沒有過夜。但這次若裴洛西也一樣不在台灣留宿,實在會讓台灣很沒面子。就算她真的也只停留幾小時,至少應該進到總統府與蔡總統會面,而不是像2021年6月美國參議員來台時那樣讓蔡總統勞駕至松山機場會見他們。

二、台灣人如何表達他們的台灣味熱情?在今年前國務卿蓬佩奧訪台時,一位在民進黨黨內初選中角逐台中市議員的候選人大手筆刊登了一個戶外廣告看板,上面大大寫著對蓬佩奧的熱烈歡迎字樣。很可惜蓬佩奧當時並未造訪台中來親眼目睹這個看板,而這位候選人也落選了。台灣各界會再以什麼樣充滿台灣創意與人情味的方式,來表達他們對於裴洛西的歡迎,會比對於蓬佩奧更熱情嗎?台北101的燈牆是否會寫上「Thank you Speaker Pelosi(謝謝裴洛西議長)」?讓我們拭目以待。

三、她是否將會見在野黨?國民黨主席朱立倫這次與政府同調、熱烈歡迎裴洛西訪台。儘管國民黨內部似乎意見分歧,有人公開指出裴洛西是根據自身利益來台,但國民黨駐美代表黃介正在《紐約時報》的訪問中,將裴洛西在台灣的形象塑造成家喻戶曉、有很多粉絲的名人。好話說盡,國民黨當然是希望能爭取與她碰面的機會。若裴洛西真的會見了國民黨,但並未會見台灣民眾黨,那麼對於後者而言,也產生了一個指標性的提示:民眾黨需要加強他們的國際地位與外交上的存在感。

四、蔡總統對裴洛西的談話內容。 蔡總統會圍繞的主題,不外乎就是她對所有訪台的外賓常說的話:站在民主同盟的立場、維護民主價值堅若磐石。除了中國問題,蔡總統與裴洛西之間有許多共通話題,如全民健保、婚姻平權、墮胎權、反死刑、氣候變遷政策、以及抗疫政策等議題。蔡總統可以聊的很多,但她絕對不會提起蔡政府與裴洛西的死對頭共和黨所建立的深刻友誼。例如最近駐美代表蕭美琴所參與由共和黨籍眾議員組成的中國工作小組(China Task Force)一事,這群高調支持台灣的共和黨眾議員與裴洛西極度不合。除了中國問題之外,這群共和黨眾議員與民進黨的政治立場可說是天壤之別。

五、裴洛西對蔡總統的談話內容。 儘管金瑞契議長訪台期間曾表示美國將保衛台灣,但回顧拜登總統多次脫口而出表示美國將保衛台灣,隨後他的救火團隊得立刻站出來澄清,稱美國對台政策保持不變。綜觀時局,裴洛西不太可能做出什麼承諾。那麼裴洛西可能會做出什麼進一步的親台動作?可以想見的是,她既不會邀請蔡總統到美國國會演說、也不會提議拜登政府向台灣出售更多武器、更不會一夕之間突然成為促進台美自由貿易協定的推手。除了口頭上表達對民主同盟價值與道義上支持之外,台灣民眾無須過度期待她會做出大動作挺台灣的實質作為。

放眼望去,台灣正張燈結綵、準備熱烈歡迎裴洛西的到來,並有許多人強調她的訪台之行富含重大的意義、台美關係具突破性發展、中國外交受挫等。筆者認為在中國不採取重大軍事行動的前提之下,裴洛西若真的訪台,很可能只會是一趟雷聲大雨點小的行程。在此可以預見,也將於今年底訪台的前NBA球員恩尼斯.坎特(Enes Freedom)來台時,應該也會讓台灣掀起另一波旋風式的迎接熱潮。

▲雖然裴洛西在香港、西藏和新疆等與中國相關問題上扮演了重要角色,但就軍購、促成自由貿易協定等台美合作相關議題上,她並沒有特別傑出的貢獻。(圖/路透)

【英文版】

● Ross Darrell Feingold/Former Asia Chairman, Republicans Abroad

Perhaps by the time this commentary is published, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi will already be in, or on her way to, Taiwan. Alternatively, perhaps she will have already cancelled the proposed visit. The uncertainty over the past ten days whether she will visit, ever since it was leaked to the Financial Times, has resulted in an extraordinary amount of media attention about China’s possible responses, President Joe Biden’s peculiar public statement that the U.S. military thinks the trip is not a good idea, speculation about what warnings Xi Jinping gave President Joe Biden during their teleconference on July 28, and a message on Truth Social from President Trump criticizing Pelosi for visiting Taiwan.

As usual when an American politician visits Taiwan, there is an enormous over reaction in both Taiwan and China, though in this case it is more sensitive for China because under the U.S. Constitution the House Speaker is second in the presidential line of succession after the vice president.

Why is the overreaction unnecessary? There is a precedent for a House Speaker’s visit, as House Speaker Newt Gingrich visited Taipei in 1997 and met President Lee Teng-hui. Pelosi is the outgoing speaker; Republicans are likely to win a majority in the House of Representatives in the November election, or, on the outside chance the Democrats retain the House majority, it is unlikely Pelosi would seek again to be the speaker. President Tsai spoke with Pelosi by phone when President Tsai transited the United States, and earlier this year Vice President William Lai had a videoconference with Pelosi. Thus, we should view Pelosi’s visit with these realities in mind.

Although Pelosi at times has had a high-profile role in China related issues such as Hong Kong, Tibet and Xinjiang, she is not known for a significant role on Taiwan issues such as weapons sales, a possible free trade agreement, or the many Taiwan-friendly resolutions and legislation in the House. Pelosi also did not invite Tsai to address Congress, despite requests from Members of Congress that she do so.

The reality is, as we say in Mandarin when an outgoing politician uses taxpayer money to fund overseas travel, this trip is a “graduation tour” for Pelosi. It is also an attempt to mitigate the Republican talking point in this year’s mid-term election that the Democrats are not tough on China.

Some things to watch for if Pelosi visits Taiwan:

1. How Long Will Pelosi Stay? Newt Gingrich only visited for a few hours and did not stay overnight. If Pelosi doesn’t stay overnight, in this author’s opinion it would be humiliating for Taiwan, but Pelosi should at least enter Taipei and visit the Presidential Office, rather than President Tsai go to Songshan Airport like Tsai did in June 2021 to meet visiting US Senators.

2. Pelosi Adulation? The government has publicly welcomed the possibility that Pelosi will visit. Earlier this year when former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited, a Democratic Progressive Party candidate competing in a primary for city councilor in Taichung put a welcome message to Pompeo on a large outdoor billboard (Pompeo didn’t visit Taichung and the candidate later lost in the primary). Will the media, politicians and public similarly go overboard in Pelosi adulation, such as lighting up the Taipei 101 façade with a “thank you Speaker Pelosi” message as was done for Pompeo?

3. Will Pelosi Meet Opposition Parties: Nationalist Party, or Kuomintang, Chairman Eric Chu Li-luan echoed the government in welcoming Pelosi’s visit, even though some Kuomintang personalities accused Pelosi of coming to Taiwan to seek money. Kuomintang Washington Representative Alexander Huang told The New York Times that “Speaker Pelosi has many admirers in Taiwan” which is more a desperate attempt to obtain a meeting with Pelosi than an accurate assessment of Pelosi’s status in Taiwan. If Pelosi visits the Kuomintang but not the Taiwan People’s Party, it will show the latter has much work to do before the United States takes it seriously.

4. What Will President Tsai Say to Pelosi: President Tsai will say the usual things she says to visiting foreign politicians such as Taiwan and the United States are fellow democracies and have shared values. Separate from China issues, perhaps President Tsai will ingratiate herself with Pelosi by emphasizing the many policy views she shares with Pelosi such as national health care, marriage equality, abortion access, death penalty opposition, policies to address climate change, and for COVID-19 mask mandates and widespread use of vaccines. It is unlikely President Tsai will mention her government’s friendship with Republicans who detest Pelosi, such as the recent meeting Representative to the United States Bi-khim Hsiao had with the House Republican “China Task Force”, a group of Republican House members who support Taiwan, detest Pelosi, and have dramatically different views from the DPP on non-China issues.

5. What Will Speaker Pelosi Say to President Tsai? During his visit, Speaker Gingrich said the United States will defend Taiwan. It is unlikely Pelosi will say this, especially after Biden has several times said the United States will defend Taiwan only for his aides to later emphasize that U.S. policy towards Taiwan is unchanged. It is also unlikely Speaker Pelosi will invite President Tsai to address Congress in person, offer to encourage the Biden Administration to sell more weapons to Taiwan, express support for a free trade agreement, or otherwise say anything substantive beyond expressions of moral support for a fellow democracy.

Ultimately, unless there is a significant military action by China, Speaker Pelosi’s visit might turn out to be a non-event. One thing we can be certain of is that the excitement in Taiwan over Pelosi’s visit will be repeated for the next significant foreign dignitary to visit Taiwan. Basketball player Enes Freedom, expected to visit Taiwan later this year, should prepare accordingly!

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● 本文獲授權,轉載自「中時評論網」,原標題〈裴洛西畢業之旅 台灣平常心面對〉。以上言論不代表本網立場。歡迎投書《雲論》讓優質好文被更多人看見,請寄editor88@ettoday.net或點此投稿,本網保有文字刪修權。

Ross Darrell Feingo

Ross Darrell Feingo Ross Darrell Feingo

前美國共和黨海外部亞太區主席。

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