August 12, 2022

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Pelosi arrived in Taiwan amid Chinese tensions and threats of retaliation

(CNN) –– Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives, landed in Taiwan on Tuesday night (local time), amid threats from China and concerns from the Biden administration. Despite China’s retaliatory warnings against the trip, his visit represented a significant show of diplomatic support for the island.

It is the first time in 25 years that a speaker of the US House of Representatives has visited Taiwan.

A Taiwanese official told CNN that Pelosi is expected to spend the night in Taipei.

“An Unwavering Commitment”

Pelosi and her accompanying congressional delegation said in a statement Tuesday that the visit “honors America’s unwavering commitment to supporting Taiwan’s vibrant democracy.”

“Our talks with Taiwan’s leaders will focus on reaffirming our support for our partner and advancing our shared interests, including advancing a free and open Indo-Pacific region,” Pelosi’s statement said. “America’s solidarity with Taiwan’s 23 million people is more important today than ever before as the world faces a choice between autocracy and democracy.”

Minutes after Pelosi arrived on the island, China’s foreign ministry condemned the visit and warned it would take “all necessary measures” to protect its sovereignty.

The State Department noted that Pelosi landed on the island “without taking into account China’s strong opposition and serious representations.” This is “a serious violation of the One-China Policy and the provisions of the three Sino-US Joint Agreements. It has a profound impact on the political foundation of Sino-US relations and seriously violates the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. China”.

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Additionally, he pointed out, it “seriously undermines peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and sends a very wrong signal of ‘Taiwan independence’ to separatist forces.”

In that regard, he said, the country will certainly take all necessary measures to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity in response to Pelosi’s visit. He also issued a stern warning that “the US side and the separatist forces of ‘Taiwan independence’ will have to bear all the consequences.”

Pelosi: “America supports Taiwan”

Pelosi wrote an op-ed for the newspaper The Washington Post Released after arriving in Taiwan on Tuesday. In the piece, he argues that his visit demonstrates America’s commitment to the island, which is under threat from China. “As the Chinese Communist Party’s aggression escalates, the visit of our congressional delegation should be seen as a clear statement that the United States stands with our democratic partner, Taiwan, while protecting itself and its independence,” Pelosi wrote.

California Democrat travels to New York with House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Gregory Meeks; Veterans Affairs Chairman Mark Tagano of California and Reps. Suzanne Delphine of Washington State, Raja Krishnamurthy of Illinois and Andy Kim of New Jersey.

For its part, the White House responded to Tuesday’s visit by pointing out that Pelosi’s visit was in line with Washington’s policy on Taiwan. He added that the United States will closely monitor China’s activities after the speaker leaves the country.

“Obviously, we’re going to watch this very closely. There’s no reason for this visit to become an event that could lead to a crisis or conflict, or an excuse that the Chinese might try to provoke some kind of military action.” , National Security Council strategic communications coordinator John Kirby said on CNN’s “This Time with Kate Bolduan.”

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“Of course, we’re concerned about that, so part of his trip is to reaffirm America’s commitment to help Taiwan defend itself under the Taiwan Relations Act,” Kirby added. “Again, there’s no reason for this to erupt into a conflict. There’s no change in our policy. It’s completely consistent with this. And we’re going to see how things develop.”

China warns of Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan

Although Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan did not appear on her Asia tour, the visit was widely discussed in the weeks leading up to her trip. The potential trip drew warnings from China and the Biden administration, which briefed the Speaker of the House on the risks of visiting the democratic and autonomous island. China claims it as part of its territory.

Indeed, just hours before Pelosi landed in Taipei, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi echoed President Xi Jinping’s warnings that the U.S. should not “play with fire” in Taiwan. In that regard, the foreign minister reiterated Beijing’s position that any interference in its one-China policy is an “undeniable red line”.

“The one China policy is the global consensus of the international community, the political basis for China’s exchanges with other countries, the core of China’s interests, and the unquestionable red line and final decision,” Wang said in his statement at the ministry. Website.

International tensions

On Monday, a senior Taiwanese government official and a US official confirmed that Pelosi would visit Taiwan, despite warnings from the Biden administration that it was concerned about China’s response to Taiwan’s visit.

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Hours later in the day, China warned of the “terrible political impact” of Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan and said its military would “not sit idly by” if Beijing believed its “sovereignty and territorial integrity” were being threatened.

The US official added on Monday that defense officials are working around the clock to monitor any Chinese movement in the region and ensure a plan to keep it safe.

The question of Taiwan – an autonomous island that China claims as part of its territory – remains a highly contentious one. President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping had a lengthy two-hour, 17-minute phone call Thursday amid rising tensions between Washington and Beijing.