June 16, 2024

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Nancy Pelosi Lands in Taiwan, China Announces ‘Targeted Military Actions’

Nancy Pelosi Lands in Taiwan, China Announces ‘Targeted Military Actions’

Beijing | An embarrassment to China: US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi landed in Taiwan on Tuesday, despite warnings from Beijing that the visit was seen as a serious provocation that could further strain already strained Sino-US relations.

• Read more: Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan could cause friction with China

• Read more: Nancy Pelosi in Taiwan. Are we going to avoid the worst?

• Read more: Over the phone, Xi warned Biden not to ‘play with fire’ in Taiwan

Ms Pelosi, 82, who is currently touring Asia, is the highest-ranking US official to visit the island in 25 years. A controversial initiative that is already creating strong tensions in the region.

Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu welcomed the leader who arrived in the evening on a US military aircraft.

“Our congressional delegation’s visit to Taiwan demonstrates America’s unconditional support for Taiwan’s vibrant democracy,” he said in a statement released shortly after his arrival.

He also felt that his visit “in no way” contradicted America’s long-standing policy against China.

His arrival was not confirmed in advance, but several American and Taiwanese media outlets had been talking about his arrival for days, prompting strong condemnation from Beijing.

Upon Nancy Pelosi’s arrival in Taiwan, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned it as a “serious violation” of US obligations to China, which “seriously undermines regional peace and stability”.

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He condemned several “very dangerous” actions in recent years by US politicians who are “using Taiwan to control China”, particularly through this visit.

The army threatens

The Chinese Ministry of Defense has assured him of “targeted military operations” by the military.

China considers Taiwan, with a population of about 23 million, as one of its provinces, which has not yet been successfully annexed to the rest of its territory since the end of the Chinese Civil War (1949).

Beijing opposes any attempt to grant international recognition to Taiwanese officials and opposes any official ties between Taiwan and other countries.

US officials and members of parliament regularly visit the island. But China sees the visit of Ms. Pelosi, one of the highest-ranking figures in the US state, as a major provocation.

Last week, during a phone interview with US President Joe Biden, Chinese President Xi Jinping had already called on Americans not to “play with fire”.

The last speaker of the US House of Representatives to visit Taiwan was Newt Gingrich in 1997.

Since 1979, Washington has recognized only one Chinese government, that of Beijing.

The US also practices “strategic ambiguity”: in short, it avoids saying whether or not it will defend the island militarily in the event of an invasion.

“Sheer Provocation”

Russia, a key ally of China, accused the Americans on Tuesday of “destabilizing the world” and described Nancy Pelosi’s visit as “pure provocation”.

Shortly before Ms. Pelosi’s visit, Chinese state television CGTN reported, without further details, that the Su-35 fighter jets had “crossed the Taiwan Strait” that separates mainland China from the island.

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In a press release, Taiwan’s military denied the Su-35s were crossing the strait.

Most observers underestimate the likelihood of armed conflict. But U.S. officials have said they are preparing for a show of Chinese military might, such as launching missiles into the Taiwan Strait or conducting airstrikes around the island.

The visit will cause a sharp increase in tension in the region and lead to Chinese retaliation against US and Taiwanese interests.

“The US will definitely bear responsibility (for the consequences) and will have to pay the price for its attack on China’s sovereignty and security,” Chinese diplomatic spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Tuesday.


According to a Taiwanese newspaper Liberty TimesCiting anonymous sources, the US president will meet on Wednesday with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, Beijing’s pet from the Freedom Party.

Taiwan’s defense ministry said it was “committed” to defending the island from any attack.

“The likelihood of a war or a serious incident is low,” however, tweeted Bonnie Glaser, director of the Asia program at the German Marshall Fund, a US think tank.

“But the possibility of (China) taking a series of military, economic and diplomatic actions … is not negligible,” he added.

Taiwanese agricultural officials said on Tuesday that Beijing has suspended imports of some Taiwanese products such as fish products, tea and honey.

Last week, Taiwan’s military held its most important annual military exercises.

For its part, China has been organizing several “live ammunition” military maneuvers at sea in recent days, usually very close to the Chinese coast.

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