Nancy Pelosi to travel to Taiwan despite threats from China

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Nancy Pelosi will travel to Taiwan despite threats from China

Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi will travel to Taiwan on Tuesday, angering Beijing (Archives).

Speaker of the House of U.S. Representative Nancy Pelosi will travel to Taiwan on Tuesday despite military threats from China.

Ms. Pelosi is expected to stay one night on the island, but details surrounding her visit have not been released. This will be the first by a House of Representatives spokesperson in Taiwan for 25 years. Republican Newt Gingrich was the last Speaker of the House of Representatives to visit Taiwan, in 1997.

According to the United Daily News, officials Taiwanese were to welcome Nancy Pelosi on her arrival, scheduled for Tuesday evening. The Taiwanese newspaper Liberty Times mentions that she will visit the Parliament on Wednesday morning, and then continue her tour of Asia.

On Monday, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Zhao Lijian, said the Chinese military will not stand idly by Ms. Pelosi's visit, and that it will have considerable political impact.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives nevertheless has the right to visit Taiwan, said John Kirby, White House spokesman for strategic issues, still Monday.

There is no reason for Beijing to make this visit, which does not depart from long-standing American doctrine, a form of crisis, he added.

According to him, China seems to be positioning itself for a show of military force around Taiwan, which would include missile fire.

This positioning could take a step further in the coming days, he continued, and this could include military provocations such as missile launches in the Taiwan Strait or around Taiwan, or major air incursions into the air defense identification zone of Taiwan. Taiwan.

For several weeks, reports that Pelosi could travel to Taiwan have heightened tensions between the two countries.

“If the Speaker of the House of Representatives […] visits Taiwan, China will definitely take counter- firm and energetic measures to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity. »

— Zhao Lijian, spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The Chinese military will not sit idly by, he further warned.

Mr. Zhao did not mention any specific consequences, but he said: We are ready for any eventuality. The People's Liberation Army will never sit idly by. China will take strong and resolute measures to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity, he said.

These Chinese threats raise fears of a new crisis in the Taiwan Strait, which could lead to a fall in world markets and disrupt supply chains.

The question of the status of Taiwan remains sensitive and is an important topic in China-US relations, Chinese Ambassador to the United States Qin Gang said at a security forum in Aspen in July.

Last week, US President Joe Biden spoke by telephone with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping for more than two hours, but tensions remain between Washington and Beijing. President Xi then warned Mr. Biden not to play with fire.

Earlier in July, President Biden indicated that the US military opposed Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan, but he has since declined to explain the reasons for this. The White House has noted for its part that it doesn't carry much weight in Ms. Pelosi's decision to travel to Taiwan – which she will.

But China considers that the visits of American representatives to Taiwan encourage the separatists. Washington also has no official diplomatic ties with Taiwan, but is nonetheless legally bound to provide it with the means to defend itself.

Nancy Pelosi is critical of China. His visit to Taiwan comes at a time when relations between the two countries have deteriorated.

The United States' position towards Taiwan is one of so-called ambiguity diplomacy strategic, since it recognizes only one Chinese government, that of Beijing. Washington supports Taipei, but refrains from saying whether or not the United States would militarily defend the island in the event of a Chinese invasion.

Ms. Pelosi's visit will complicate the task of American diplomacy, which seeks to calm relations with China.

On Monday, 4,000 American and Indonesian soldiers began a military exercise, while ensuring that these maneuvers were not aimed at any country in particular.

For its part, the Taiwanese army carried out its most important annual military exercise last week, in particular with simulations of interception of Chinese attacks on the island.

Taiwanese people practice firearms in training for citizens.

The American aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan and its flotilla left Singapore for the South China Sea. However, according to the US Navy, this mission was already scheduled.

China's response came on Saturday, when a live ammunition military exercise was held across the Taiwan Strait – but very close to China's shores.

Washington called on Friday calm Chinese leaders.

“We have many differences when it comes to Taiwan, but over the past 40 years we have managed those differences and done so in a way that has preserved peace and stability.

—Antony Blinken, U.S. Secretary of State

In Taiwan, opinions are divided on the visit of Ms. Pelosi. Senior figures from Taipei's ruling party and the opposition have said the island should not give in to Chinese pressure.

If Ms Pelosi were to cancel or postpone her trip, it would be a victory for the Chinese government and for Xi, as it would show that the pressure he exerted had some desired effects, said Hung Chin-fu, of the #x27;National Cheng Kung University of Taiwan.

Nancy Pelosi kicked off her Asia tour with a stop in Singapore, where she met Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who called for developing stable relations with China. Ms. Pelosi is also due to meet the President of Singapore later.

Ms. Pelosi will use her visit to several Asian countries to reaffirm America's unwavering commitment to its allies and friends in the region. In Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan, we will hold high-level meetings to discuss how we can promote our common values ​​and interests, commented Pelosi, who did not mention her visit. in Taiwan.

She is expected in Malaysia on Tuesday, where she is expected to meet Lower House Speaker Azhar Azizan Harun.

Then she will travel to South Korea on Thursday to discuss with National Assembly Speaker Kim Jin Pyo security in the Indo-Pacific region, economic cooperation and the climate crisis. It is not known how long her stay in this country will last.

Ms Pelosi's schedule for Wednesday has not been released. It is also not possible to know when she will visit Japan.

With information from CNN, Agence France-Presse, and Reuters

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