US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi arrived in Taiwan on Wednesday evening. Tensions between China and the US are at an all-time high. American ships are crossing the coast and 21 Chinese military aircraft have violated Taiwan’s airspace.
After Singapore, the speaker of the American House of Representatives was in Malaysia on Tuesday, August 2, the second leg of a trip to Asia that risks raising tensions between China and the United States. Main reason: Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.
Beijing considers the island a part of its territory, using force if necessary, and has repeatedly warned Washington against a visit by a senior official it considered a major provocation.
After Singapore and Malaysia, his itinerary included stops in South Korea and Japan. Ambiguity was deliberately maintained around a possible visit to Taiwan. Several headlines in the international press, however, claimed that a visit was well-planned, with the Financial Times citing a meeting between Nancy Pelosi and Taiwan’s president on Wednesday.
Embarrassed by the White House situation, his spokesman John Kirby said Monday that Nancy Pelosi had a “right to visit Taiwan.”
“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.
While most observers judge the likelihood of armed conflict to be low, US officials have said they are preparing for a possible show of force by the Chinese military, such as a missile launch into the Taiwan Strait or a massive air incursion around the island.
Nancy Pelosi arrived in Taiwan on Wednesday night
They were not wrong. Nancy Pelosi arrived in Taipei on the evening of Wednesday, August 3. He said his visit “showed America’s unconditional support.”
However, the United States practices a so-called “strategic ambiguity” diplomacy toward Taiwan, in which it recognizes only one Chinese government, Beijing, while continuing to provide decisive support to Taipei, but refrains from saying whether they are. Will defend the island militarily in case of attack.
Several American ships cruised into Taiwan territory in the afternoon. Taiwanese authorities claimed that more than 20 Chinese military aircraft entered Taiwan’s aircraft detection zone. Moscow has already declared that China reserves the right to take measures to defend its “sovereignty”.
The Chinese ambassador to the US told CNN that the visit would “raise tensions”.
John Kirby told SkyNews that Nancy Pelosi’s visit was “fully consistent with our long-standing One China policy”. “We have said that we oppose any change in the status quo on either side. We said that we do not support Taiwan’s independence as I said again yesterday that we hope that the differences will be resolved in a peaceful way”.
He said, however, “China has positioned itself to take further action and we expect it to continue to respond in the long term.”
The fear of the people of Taiwan
Taiwan’s 23 million citizens live in constant fear of a Chinese invasion, a fear that has grown since the coming to power of President Xi Jinping, who has prioritized reunification. It has reached its peak since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Taiwan’s media continues to hype a possible Chinese invasion and the population is multiplying self-defense courses.
Last week, during a telephone interview with the US president, Xi Jinping urged the US not to “play with fire”.