Nancy Pelosi on Asia with a possible dangerous episode in Taiwan

The Speaker of the US House of Representatives is expected Monday in Singapore, the first leg of an Asian tour that may include a trip to Taiwan.

The trip could further exacerbate strained relations between Beijing and Washington. After long maintaining ambiguity around her Asia agenda, Nancy Pelosi announced on Sunday that she is driving “a Congressional delegation to the Indo-Pacific region to reaffirm America’s unwavering commitment to its allies and friends in the region“.

In Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan, we will hold high-level meetings to discuss how we can advance our common values ​​and interests, including peace and security, economic growth and trade. , the Covid-19 pandemic, the climate crisis, human rights and democratic governancehe added, not mentioning Taiwan in his itinerary.

Rising tension

For weeks, tensions between the United States and China have been rising over reports of possible visits to the self-governing island, which China considers part of its territory.

Beijing will see a sentence, however brief, by the speaker of the island’s House of Representatives as a provocation. Delegations of US officials often travel to Taiwan to express their support, but the visit of Nancy Pelosi, one of the highest figures in the state and one of the heavyweights of political life in America, will not happen again since his predecessor. Newt Gingrich in 1997.

“Strategic Confusion”

The United States has practiced a so-called “strategic ambiguity” diplomacy in relation to Taiwan, which consists of recognizing only one Chinese government, that of Beijing, while continuing to provide decisive support to Taipei but to refrain to say whether they in the military will defend or not. the island in case of invasion. It is this concept that currently makes it possible to maintain a certain stability in the region.

As for Nancy Pelosi, the sequence is dangerous: the Speaker of the House of Representatives is a central figure in the Democratic majority of President Joe Biden, but his possible stop in Taiwan will complicate the task of American diplomacy, which tries to avoid the bad relationship. with China.

Last week, during a rare direct exchange with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, US President Joe Biden assured that the position of the United States on Taiwan has “not changed“and that’s his country”strongly opposes unilateral efforts to change the status quo or threaten the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait“.

“red line”

For his part, Xi Jinping called on Joe Biden not to “don’t play with fire“, and a Chinese diplomatic spokesperson spoke of a trip by Nancy Pelosi to the island as a”Red line“.

Nancy Pelosi’s visit comes amid military tensions in the region.

Taiwan’s military held its largest annual military exercise this week, which included mock attacks on China from the sea.

Meanwhile, the US aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan and its flotilla left Singapore for the South China Sea as part of a scheduled operation, the US Navy said.

And on Saturday, in response, China organized a military exercise “live ammunitionin the Taiwan Strait.

Washington sought to downplay Nancy Pelosi’s possible visit to Taiwan and called on Chinese leaders to remain calm.

We have many differences when it comes to Taiwan, but over the past forty years we have managed those differences and done so in a way that preserves peace and stability.said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday.

In Taiwan, opinions are divided about the possibility of Nancy Pelosi’s visit, but figures from the ruling party and the opposition say that the island should not give in to Chinese pressure.

SEE ALSO – Washington must bear ‘all’ consequences if Pelosi goes to Taiwan, warns Beijing

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