China has vehemently opposed U.S House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s upcoming visit to Taiwan next month amid concerns over cross-strait ties following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. She has reportedly planned for next month, even signaling “military but also strategic” consequences for the island nation over which Beijing is becoming increasingly confrontational.
On Tuesday, while addressing a press brief, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijiang said that the Chinese side has stated on many occasions that they are firmly opposed to any form of official interaction between the United States and the Taiwan region. China signaled that Pelosi’s reported plans to require as much of a diplomatic response as a military one, using combative rhetoric to describe how it might respond to the perceived provocation. If the U.S. breaks through the diplomatic “guardrails” that govern Taiwan policy – as Pelosi’s trip would do – “we will see the China-US relations fall off a cliff, for sure,” Lü Xiang with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences told the outlet.
Zhao said in the briefing “If speaker Pelosi visits Taiwan, this would gravely violate the one-China principle and the stipulations of the three China-U.S. joint communique, seriously undermine China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, severely impact the political foundation of China- U.S. relations and send a seriously wrong signal to ‘Taiwan independence’ secessionist forces.
This opposition from Beijing came after a US media report said that the US House of Representatives plans to visit Taiwan in August amid tension with China. It is reported by the financial times, that Pelosi and her delegations will also visit Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, and Singapore, and spent time in Hawaii at the headquarters of the US Indo-Pacific command.
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According to another Chinese media outlet, “if the news is true and the trip happens, it will be one of the most egregious provocations by the U.S to China on the Taiwan question since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the U.S.”
In April, Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan had been postponed after she tested positive for CVOID-19. At that time, Beijing had resolutely opposed any official exchange between the U.S and Taiwan.
A global times editorial said visiting Taiwan is a red line that Pelosi must never cross. “China is resolute in defending national sovereignty and territorial integrity and has the right to take forceful measures against “Taiwan independence” secessionist forces and extraterritorial forces at any time following changes in the situations, including against the trip and Pelosi herself,” the outlet said. She would be the first House speaker to visit the island since Newt Gingrich in 1997 at a time when U.S. policy centered on bringing China into the global marketplace with designs on encouraging it to democratize.
Though Taiwan is not officially an ally of the U.S., the two countries have signed agreements ensuring U.S. support to bolster its defenses against outside threats.
China has asked the U.S to immediately cancel a potential sale of military-technical assistance to Taiwan worth an estimated USD 108 million.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said the US arms sales to China’s Taiwan region seriously violate the One-China principle and three China-US Joint statements, particularly the August 17 statement, and gravely undermine China’s sovereignty and security issues.
China regards Taiwan as its province despite decades of separate governance, it has earlier strongly opposed military cooperation between Washington and Taipei.
The defense agreement between the US and Taiwan came after Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the One-China principle is what underpins stability across the Taiwan Strait and warned of “ferocious storms” across the region if the principle is “arbitrarily challenged or even sabotaged.”