Nancy Pelosi on Taiwan, a potential visit that raises tensions with China

JONATHAN ERNST / REUTERS FILE PHOTO: US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) addresses reporters during a news conference at the US Capitol in Washington, US, July 29, 2022. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

JONATHAN ERNST / REUTERS

Expected in Asia for a diplomatic tour, Nancy Pelosi may go to Taiwan. A visit that could damage US-Chinese relations.

INTERNATIONAL – Growing global tensions. Less than a week after a tense phone exchange between Joe Biden and Xi Jinping, the United States and China have once again found themselves in a precarious position. In the question? The diplomatic tour of Asia by the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi.

This Monday, August 1, someone who started his tour with a visit to Singapore doubts whether he will arrive – or not – on the island of Taiwan. A well-guarded project revealed in the pages of Financial Times on July 19, but around which the ambiguity still officially continues. But multiple sources cited by CNN on Monday indicated an approach to Taipei on Tuesday or Thursday.

A situation that is considered “out of control”

This trip to Asia, which has been posted for months, should lead ” a Congressional delegation to the Indo-Pacific region to reaffirm America’s unwavering commitment to its allies and friends in the region,” Nancy Pelosi assured on Sunday. After Singapore, the direction of Malaysia, South Korea and Japan will also be held “high-level meetings to discuss how we can advance our common values ​​and interests,” he declared.

If the Speaker of the House of Representatives has not mentioned Taiwan in his itinerary, the frequent rumors raise fears of the worst, as reported by the Politico site. ” European diplomats accept that there is clearly a risk that the situation will spiral out of control “, said the media, also quoting the words of Boris Ruge, vice-president of the Munich Security Conference.

Sometimes worst case scenarios happen. Europeans would do well to prepare for events, support Taiwan while maintaining close contact with Beijing, and help de-escalate. “, he warned. Especially since the escalation of the war in Ukraine “expands” which increases the risk of Chinese military aggression against Taiwan, according to Urmas Paet, vice-chairman of the foreign affairs committee of the European Parliament.

Behind the fears of Westerners, the“strategic ambiguity” maintained by the United States, which consists of recognizing only one Chinese government, that of Beijing, while continuing to provide decisive support to Taipei, but refraining from saying whether or not it will defend the island militarily if any invasion.

Palpable military tension

If the Speaker of the House of Representatives […] travel to Taiwan, China will definitely take firm and strong measures to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity. “, once again warned this Monday a spokesman for Chinese diplomacy, Zhao Lijian. The Chinese Army do not sit idle “, he also lined up.

To ensure the seriousness of its message, Beijing began a series of large-scale military demonstrations, mainly through a threatening video, in which a short text – which vaguely mentions Taiwan or Nancy Pelosi – as a warning. : “Any enemy who dares to attack us will be buried here. We are in a war.”

A clearly visible military increase on both sides, as evidenced by the 4,000 Indonesian and American soldiers in the military exercise on Monday and to which the most important annual military exercise was added of the Taiwan army, a few days ago.

Provocations for China, which on Saturday organized a military exercise in response “live ammunition” in the Taiwan Strait. And although delegations of American officials often travel to Taiwan to express their support for Taipei, Pelosi’s hypothetical visit has a completely different symbolic meaning, given the position occupied by the Democrat, one of most important in the world. first from a Speaker of the House of Representatives since 1997.

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