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Why is China threatening ‘military action’ over Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan?


Why is China threatening 'military action' over Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan



According to American media reports, the country’s third most powerful politician, Speaker of the House of Representatives of the US Congress, Nancy Pelosi, will visit Taiwan in August.

It has not been announced exactly when Ms. Pelosi will visit Taiwan, but the level of reaction in China to the news is unprecedented.

Chinese government officials have warned the Americans that the visit amounts to a violation of China’s sovereignty and will prove that the US is abandoning its ‘one-China’ policy.

Asked by reporters, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Monday,

China will take strong measures to “protect sovereignty and territorial integrity”. “Any consequences will be borne by the United States,” he said.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs usually talks about foreign relations in China. But the threat of military action against the US Speaker’s proposed visit has been heard from the country’s Ministry of Defense.

Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Tan Kefei told the China Daily newspaper on Tuesday that the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) will not sit idly by when Nancy Pelosi visits Taiwan, and that they are “fully prepared” for any eventuality.

Why is China so angry?

It is not that former American officials or politicians do not visit Taiwan once in a while. A few days ago, former Trump administration Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also visited Taipei.

But Nancy Pelosi is one of America’s most powerful politicians. His position is after the President and Vice President. He is a very influential leader of the ruling Democrats.

Why is China threatening 'military action' over Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan?


He has always been seen as staunchly anti-China in US political circles. He is very vocal about China’s human rights situation. He visited Tiananmen Square while visiting China. His contacts with exiled Chinese dissidents are well known.

As a result, China sees this plan of such a person to go to Taiwan as a deliberate provocation by the American government.

In particular, many observers believe that the current context of China’s domestic politics – the visit of Nancy Pelosi at this time has created discomfort at the top level of Chinese power.

The crucial Congress of the Chinese Communist Party is just a few weeks away – where President Xi Jinping is expected to seek approval for a third term in power.

“Speaker Pelosi’s visit at this time may be viewed as an insult by Mr. Xi and the party leadership,” Suzanne L. Shark, a former senior US State Department official who has also written a book on Chinese politics, told the New York Times.

“This sense of humiliation may lead President Xi to make a reckless show of force,” said Suzanne Shark. This analyst felt that “it would be right to postpone the visit now without risking a conflict.”

Taiwan has always been considered an integral part of China, and it is impossible for any ruling Chinese politician to take any kind of loose position on Taiwan. If that is the case, he will definitely have to fall into the party’s co-panel.

China is concerned about the way President Biden’s administration’s diplomatic relations with Taiwan’s government are increasing after he took office. Just last April, six members of the American Parliament made a surprise visit to Taiwan. President Biden himself has said at least three times in the past year that America will not hesitate to intervene militarily if Taiwan is attacked.

China is both angry and worried about this. The Chinese have voiced their concerns in the series of contacts between the two governments since the start of the Ukraine war.

However, China sees Nancy Pelosi’s planned visit as fuel to the fire.


What can China do?

But if Nancy Pelosi does not listen to these threats – what is the alternative to China now?

Many analysts believe Chinese military aircraft may have escorted the plane carrying Speaker Pelosi into Taiwan’s airspace — preventing her from landing in Taipei.

Such an indication was given by Hu Shi Jin, the former editor-in-chief of the newspaper Global Times, known as the mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party.

He wrote on Twitter, “Chinese warplanes may have entered Taiwan-controlled airspace for the first time around Pelosi’s plane. . . China must now take the path of strong military action.”

The New York Times writes that US officials are worried about such a possible scenario.

Earlier, when then US Health Secretary Alex Azar visited Taiwan in 2020, Chinese warplanes crossed the middle of the Taiwan Strait to the very edge of Taiwan’s airspace. Concerns arose at the time about Chinese aircraft deliberately moving within range of Taiwan’s anti-aircraft missiles.

The Biden administration is already concerned about China’s statements and actions regarding Taiwan. There is concern among some American politicians and military administrators that Chinese leaders, watching the war in Ukraine, may feel that Taiwan must be annexed by force before the United States can strengthen its defenses.

There is also concern within the United States that the Chinese may at any time close all or part of the Taiwan Strait to the rest.

In June, China said it had sole sovereign rights in the Taiwan Strait.

Why is China threatening 'military action' over Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan


What will Biden do now?

Now the question is, will the US take the risk of a possible conflict with China over Speaker Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan at a time when the Western economy is in a bad state due to the war in Ukraine?

For President Biden, the issue is like a conch saw. While he has repeatedly promised security to Taiwan – it would surely be ironic if Speaker Pelosi were to back down again under pressure from China.

But Dotana is clear about the controversial visit within the American administration.

President Biden told reporters last week that military commanders feel “Speaker Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan at this point will not be positive.”

American media say the White House and the Pentagon are secretly contacting the Speaker’s office to try to convince him to cancel the trip now.

The BBC’s Rupert Wingfield-Hayes, from Taipei, says that while Nancy Pelosi’s visit may be cheering on the surface, the Taiwanese government is feeling uneasy inside.

Correspondent says, “President (Taiwan’s) Tsai always talks about communicating with the highest levels of US politics and administration. But at the same time there is pressing concern as to why Speaker Pelosi is coming now, and whether she will do more harm than good!”

There is still much confusion in Taiwan about exactly what America’s policy toward them is.

President Biden said he will speak to President Xi by telephone in the next few days.

Will he de-escalate or ignore China’s threats? Maybe after that telephone conversation he will get some hint.

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