Explained: Why China is opposing Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan
The last time a US representative had visited the island nation was in 1977, when Newt Gingrich visited Taipei days after visiting Beijing
The US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is about to make one of the most high level visit to the island nation of Taiwan. This is the first time in 25 years, a high-level US representative is visiting the self governed nation of 24 million people. Taiwan is also the nation claimed by Beijing.
US response to China
The United States has asked China to refrain from responding to the US House Speaker's visit to Taiwan. They have asked China not to indulge in military provocation over the visit. The US reassured Beijing that such a visit would not be the first of its kind nor represent any change in policy toward the region.
On May 23, Biden urges the West to stand firm against Russia over Ukraine to deter China from trying to take Taiwan by force, and repeats that the US will defend Taiwan in the event of an invasion.
China opposes Pelosi visit because. . .
Beijing has warned that Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan would have “a severe negative impact on the political foundations of China-US relations."
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian was quoted as saying that it would be “a gross interference in China's internal affairs" if Pelosi visits Taiwan, and warned that it would lead to “very serious developments and consequences."
“We would like to tell the United States once again that China is standing by, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) will never sit idly by, and China will take resolute responses and strong countermeasures to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity," Zhao told a regular daily briefing.
Asked what kind of measures the PLA might take, Zhao said: “If she dares to go, then let us wait and see."
China believes that US officials visiting Taiwan would send an encouraging message to the pro-independence camp in the island. Washington does not have official diplomatic ties with Taiwan but is bound by US law to provide the island with the means to defend itself.
US-China political relationship
Under Xi Jinping's rule, China and US has shared a rather amicable political relationship.
A Vox report explains that the Chinese Communist Party will hold its 20th congress, a major gathering that occurs every five years and in which Xi Jinping is expected to take on an unprecedented third term as president. At the gathering, he will also likely discuss Taiwan at a time when experts see parallels between Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the power that China wants to assert over Taiwan.
Thomas L Friedman, an internationally renowned author, reporter, and, columnist, wrote in The New York Times, “If she (Pelosi) does go ahead with a visit to Taiwan this week, against President Joe Biden’s wishes, she will be doing something that is utterly reckless, dangerous and irresponsible.
Taiwan prepares for Pelosi visit
Taipei on Tuesday amid intensifying warnings from China, four US warships, including an aircraft carrier, were positioned in waters east of the island on "routine" deployments.
The carrier USS Ronald Reagan had transited the South China Sea and was currently in the Philippines Sea, east of Taiwan and the Philippines and south of Japan, a US Navy official confirmed to Reuters on Tuesday.
The Japanese-based Reagan is operating with a guided missile cruiser, USS Antietam, and a destroyer, USS Higgins.
"While they are able to respond to any eventuality, these are normal, routine deployments," the official said, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to Reuters. The official added that they were unable to comment on precise locations.
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