China has condemned the go to by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan as “extremely dangerous”, warning that the journey was a risk to stability within the area.
Pelosi arrived in Taiwan late on Tuesday on a visit she mentioned demonstrated the United States’s solidarity with the self-governed island, which China claims as its personal.
Washington doesn’t recognise Taiwan as an impartial state, however is sure by US legislation to supply the island with the means to defend itself.
The US politician defined her causes for visiting Taiwan in an editorial revealed within the Washington Post minutes after she arrived on the island.
“We cannot stand by as the CCP (the Chinese Communist Party) proceeds to threaten Taiwan – and democracy itself,” she wrote within the opinion piece.
Pelosi – the highest-ranking US official to travel to Taiwan in 25 years – arrived at Songshan Airport in downtown Taipei on a flight from Malaysia to start a go to that dangers pushing US-Chinese relations to a brand new low.
Her delegation was greeted by Taiwan’s overseas minister, Joseph Wu, and Sandra Oudkirk, the highest US consultant in Taiwan.
‘Playing with fire’
China instantly condemned Pelosi’s go to, with the overseas ministry saying it critically damages peace and stability within the Taiwan Strait.
The go to “has a severe impact on the political foundation of China-U.S. relations, and seriously infringes upon China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity”, it mentioned in a press release.
“These moves, like playing with fire, are extremely dangerous. Those who play with fire will perish by it,” the assertion added.
Chinese warplanes buzzed the road dividing the Taiwan Strait earlier than Pelosi’s arrival. The Chinese navy has been placed on excessive alert and can launch “targeted military operations” in response to her go to, the defence ministry mentioned.
The People’s Liberation Army Eastern Theatre Command introduced that it’s going to conduct joint air and sea drills near Taiwan beginning on Tuesday night time, and test-launch standard missiles within the sea east of Taiwan.
Heino Klinck, former US deputy assistant defence secretary, instructed Al Jazeera that the Chinese navy would most likely perform operations with a view to ship a message to Taiwan and its companions that Beijing is resolute in its opposition to any type of independence or autonomy for Taiwan.
Chinese leaders have “in essence painted themselves into such a public corner on Taiwan that they will have to do something in the short term,” he mentioned.
Our go to reiterates that America stands with Taiwan: a strong, vibrant democracy and our essential associate within the Indo-Pacific. pic.twitter.com/2sSRJXN6ST
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) August 2, 2022
Yu Jie, a senior analysis fellow on China on the Chatham House suppose tank in London, mentioned the Chinese response would most likely contain a navy stand-off with the US Navy and financial sanctions on Taiwanese agricultural and manufacturing merchandise.
“Despite a chorus of nationalistic rhetoric, China will be careful not to stumble into a conflict with colossal damages on all fronts,” she mentioned. “Beijing cannot afford to be perceived as unilaterally seeking to change what it agreed with the US back in 1979. If that happens, it will provoke the US political establishment to reach a unanimous agreement to change the “One China Policy” in writing. Ahead of the 20th Party congress, the very last thing President Xi desires is a ineffective warfare to take care of a Congress speaker who solely has a number of months’ shelf life left.”
Pelosi is on a tour of Asia that features scheduled visits to Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan. Her cease in Taiwan was unannounced however extensively anticipated.
Pelosi mentioned that the go to to Taiwan “in no way contradicts” one-China coverage.
“By traveling to Taiwan, we honor our commitment to democracy: reaffirming that the freedoms of Taiwan – and all democracies – must be respected,” Pelosi wrote.
The journey is controversial because it dangers triggering a significant disaster between China and the US. China had threatened the US that there could be “serious consequences” if Pelosi went forward along with her go to.
Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen will meet Pelosi on Wednesday morning and the 2 ladies have lunch collectively, the presidential workplace mentioned. Pelosi, travelling with six different American lawmakers, is the primary US House speaker to go to Taiwan since 1997.
Pelosi underscored the importance of the journey by making connections between Taiwan and Ukraine, noting that “the world faces a choice between autocracy and democracy” and writing “As Russia wages its premeditated, illegal war against Ukraine, killing thousands of innocents – even children – it is essential that America and our allies make clear that we never give in to autocrats.”
Al Jazeera’s Shihab Rattansi, reporting from Washinton, DC, mentioned Pelosi gave the impression to be framing the go to as a part of a wider effort to bolster democracies world wide.
“As soon as she arrived, various tweets, various articles, various statements were released, positioning Pelosi as a freedom fighter in the battle against autocracy on behalf of democracy,” he mentioned.
“She compared her trip to Taiwan to her trip in April to Ukraine, as part of this international remit that she feels she has, to travel the world promoting democracy.”