US Warns China Against Turning Nancy Pelosi Taiwan Visit Into A “Crisis”
The White House on Monday warned China against overreacting to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan, saying she would have every right to visit the self-ruled island even though Beijing considers it a a highly provocative challenge.
White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters there was no need for China to turn any Nancy Pelosi visit into a “crisis”, even as he warned that North Kinh may be “positioning” itself to project military power around the island.
Media reports say Pelosi, currently on an official tour of Asia, will stop in Taiwan and meet President Tsai Ing-wen on Wednesday – if true the highest-level US visit to come. Taipei for decades.
Beijing, which considers Taiwan its territory, has reacted violently to the idea, warning President Joe Biden that his administration is playing “with fire” and announcing a series of live-fire drills. in the Taiwan Strait.
While the White House and State Department are both understood to oppose Pelosi’s trip, Kirby has made it clear that the speaker – second in line to the US presidency – is entitled to go where she wants.
“The speaker has the right to visit Taiwan,” he told reporters, adding: “There’s no reason for Beijing to turn a potential visit in line with long-standing US policies into a one-on-one meeting.” some kind of crisis.”
Kirby cited intelligence that China was preparing military provocations that could include firing missiles in the Taiwan Strait or “large-scale” incursions into Taiwan’s airspace.
Pelosi began her trip on Monday with a stop in Singapore, where Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong urged her at a meeting to strive for a “stable” relationship with Beijing.
Her itinerary also included Malaysia, South Korea and Japan, but the prospect of a visit to Taiwan dominated.
Speculation about Pelosi’s plans coincided with an increase in military activity in the region.
Kirby said the United States “will not be threatened” from continued free movement in the Pacific region.
However, he has sought to de-escalate tensions by stressing repeatedly that US policy has not changed towards Taiwan. This means supporting its own self-governing government, recognizing China’s sovereignty, and opposing Taiwan’s claim of full independence or a forceful takeover by China.
“Nothing has changed,” he said. “There’s certainly no reason for this to happen.”
Kirby confirmed that Pelosi was traveling on a military plane and said Washington was not afraid of a direct attack, but warned it “raises the bets of a miscalculation.”
Pelosi’s office said her trip “will focus on mutual security, economic partnerships and democratic governance in the Indo-Pacific region,” referring to the Asia region. – Pacific.
The statement made no mention of Taiwan. But visits by US officials there are usually kept secret until the delegations land.
The Global Times, China’s state-run tabloid, suggested that Pelosi could use “emergency excuses such as plane failure or refueling” to land at Taiwan’s airport.
“If she dares to stop in Taiwan, that will be the moment to spark the situation in the Taiwan Strait,” Hu Xijin, a former Global Times editor and now a commentator, tweeted.
And the Chinese military’s Eastern Theater Command shared footage on social media platform Weibo of an army ready to fight with fighter jets and helicopters taking off, troops landing on a beach and a volleys of missiles rained down on different targets.
“We will bury all enemies that invade our territory,” a short text accompanying the video reads.
“We are ready to fight,” it added. “Forward a common war and a victorious war.”
Taiwan government is silent
Taiwan’s 23 million people have long lived with the possibility of invasion, but the threat has grown under Chinese President Xi Jinping.
U.S. officials often make discreet visits to Taiwan to show support, but Pelosi’s trip will be appreciated more than any visit in recent history.
The Taiwanese government has remained silent on the prospect of Pelosi’s visit and little coverage in the local press.
“I really hate what the Chinese are doing,” Hsu Ching-Feng, a fruit vendor in Taipei, told AFP.
“But we ordinary people can’t do anything but ignore them.”
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and was automatically generated from the syndication feed.)