"The U.S. side speaks of crisis control as a kind of guardrail, but China talks about the fact that Sino-U.S. relations should be on the right track - if the U.S. and China are on the wrong track, then the guardrail will only make both sides move further and further down the wrong road." This well spoken quote captures the worry I have about Pelosi's stunt, and represents the lack of any mindset from the US establishment beyond a new Cold War.

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Thank you David for your thoughtful comment!

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If the guard rail is to stop doing things that Beijing doesn't agree with, its not really a guard rail - its a 180 degree change of strategy from the US, one that will be seen as a complete surrender by the American public.

Seems kind of naive to say that the solution to manage conflict is for the other side to give in and see things their way.

The only "guardrail" that works is frequent communication at all levels, including the highest, between adversaries, and that happen out of the public eye to avoid public pressure

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The rest of the world accepts Washington's guardrails, ie America's Monroe Policy or adhering to US sanctions. Not hard to recognize what core interests are for each state, and recognizing when one is pushing the line

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First, Washington's "guardrails" that you mentioned are hardly ones that no one crosses. Any deterrence to other countries from doing so depends on their own power vs their fear of any consequences that may arise, and the calculation of cost/benefit

Second, a core interest is somewhat arbitrarily defined and they can also clash. Recent US discourse has been framing the defense of TW as a "core interest" of the US (agree or disagree, that is how it is being framed). It also bears into examination why Beijing frames TW as a core interest - its not like the PRC has ever controlled it, and yet the PRC still exists and is still prospering without it.

Core interests often evolve and expand as the balance of power changes. China is starting to frame any hindrance to its development interests (aka anything that interferes with its trade and technology development) as a core interest. Will the US also concede to Chinese demands there because its a "core interest" guardrail that must not be crossed?

A realistic take would be that guard rails in the form of actions that must not be done don't work - they are often crossed, and even if not, things are pushed right before the guard rail is crossed because its supposed to be "safe".

The only realistic way to manage these conflicts of interest is to increase communication at all levels, hopefully mostly out of the public eye. And even then its not guaranteed to work if the conflict of interest is too strong, or if there are misaligned perceptions of each other's strengths.

FWIW, both the US and CN side realize this and are making attempts at increasing communication. I believe comments about the guardrails uttered by Beijing is more public/domestic facing rhetoric - they fully realize the US isn't going to suddenly do a 180 and back away.

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To your point "And even then its not guaranteed to work if the conflict of interest is too strong, or if there are misaligned perceptions of each other's strengths." which is intuitively clear, again just underscores why edging towards red flags, especially when for no gain, is bad policy. This topic isn't a guardrail, it's a fundamental tripwire, and any brinksmanship without full support (Pentagon, Biden) is bad policy.

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I agree that edging towards red flags for no gain is bad policy (ahem Pelosi visit), though because of the publicity it has now become a political minefield, and thus not easy to pull back.

But how about actions taken by the US to support TW more concretely, such as increased arms sales and economic deals ? Or FONOPS in SCS or TW straits? Those are actions that China would certainly like the US to stop and claims as touching the red line, but the US isn't about to stop them because it perceives it is in its interest not to. Telling the US the only guard rail available is to stop doing that is not going to work (not anymore than telling China to stop repressing democracy activists is going to work).

Frequent communication, even arguments, would be the only "guardrail" that works, not a rhetorical declaration that the other side should back off as the only solution to managing tensions

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Who cares where she goes? She has absolutely zero authority or power outside of the United States. NO MEMBER of the House of Representatives has any such power.

Even the Senate CANNOT negotiate with foreign nations. Only the President has such power to form foreign treaties; however, once negotiated, the President must receive a two-third SENATE approval. The House of Representatives can NEVER BE INVOLVED in foreign relations.

Anyone other than the President, who negotiates with foreign powers is committing a felony.

So again, WHO CARES where she goes?

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The seminal issue, IMHO, is not which side attempts to win this ‘game of global Empire pre-emenance’, but which has the courage and sanity not to exercise the Empire final end — that’s what winning and surviving is really about for all the citizens of our small fragile planet.

Two Empires under one roof is dangerous — but one Empire is death.

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This is all Nixon's fault. He sold-out the (now, for the time-being anyway) people of Tiawan.

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