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China Furious Over Reports Pelosi To Visit Taiwan In August

China Furious Over Reports Pelosi To Visit Taiwan In August

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s planned trip to Taiwan has predictably sparked outrage in China, with Beijing slamming the potential trip as causing “grave harm” and threatening “forceful measures” if she goes through with it.

She would be the first Speaker of the US House of Representatives – which is third in line to the US Presidency – to visit the country in 25 years after Republican speaker Newt Gingrich visited in 1997. In April she nearly sparked a major diplomatic row with China after it emerged she would stop over in Taiwan while on a southeast Asian trip. But (perhaps only too conveniently), she tested positive for Covid-19 days ahead of the expected tour, leading to cancelation altogether.

Via Reuters

Word of a rescheduled trip set for August has left Beijing furious. FT is citing “Six people familiar with the situation” who say “Pelosi would take a delegation to Taiwan in August.”

During the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s daily briefing on Tuesday, spokesman Zhao Lijiang vowed “resolute and strong measures” if she goes through with it. He said a visit by the US House Speaker would “severely undermine China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, gravely impact the foundation of China-U.S. relations and send a seriously wrong signal to Taiwan independence forces.”

“If the U.S. were to insist on going down the wrong path, China will take resolute and strong measures to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Zhao added.

The quick condemnation and scathing statements reminding Washington that it must stick by the ‘one China’ principle are similar to China’s reaction in April. Given that prior trip never materialized (again, due to her announced Covid diagnosis), she was able to quietly back out and many observers chalked up the entire planned Taiwan trip to “rumor” given neither the US nor Taipei side ever confirmed it.

In these latest remarks Zhao didn’t indicate precisely what counter-US or counter-Taiwan steps China would take. It comes also amid Beijing demanding the Biden administration cancel a proposed 5th package of arms to Taiwan, totaling $108 million, and as Beijing is challenging the status of the Taiwan Strait as “international waters”. 

Some Chinese state-linked pundits are going so far as to warn that Pelosi’s visit could spark military conflict between Taiwan and China. Among them, former editor-in-chief of the Communist Party’s Global Times has blasted the “risky” visit for which she would “bear historical responsibility for possibly triggering military conflict in the Taiwan Strait.”

So the question remains: will the 82-year old speaker go through with it? Or perhaps, she’ll conveniently come down with a last minute case of “Covid” again (maybe Monkeypox?); or possibly, she’ll be busy bailing out her husband Paul. The region is especially on edge given growing comparisons to the Ukraine war – a comparison which China has consistently rejected.

Tyler Durden
Tue, 07/19/2022 – 18:25

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