UPDATE. On Saturday afternoon Moscow time, the plane with Pelosi sat down at Honolulu airport in Hawaii. It is not yet clear whether the speaker of the House of Representatives will continue her journey and, if so, where she will go next.
Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi began her visit to Asia on July 30. Airplane with a politician flew out from Andrews base, but the end point of his route is not indicated. The main intrigue of this trip is the question of whether she will visit Taiwan. The Chinese authorities strongly oppose this.
Nancy Pelosi, who has criticized China’s policies throughout her political career, was planning to travel to Taiwan back in April, but canceled the trip after contracting covid.
The US administration tried to dissuade Pelosi from going to Taiwan. According to Joe Biden, this visit to the Pentagon consider “not a very good” idea.
Pelosi herself has not confirmed that she will visit Taiwan during her tour of Asia, notes CNN, but stressed that the US should show its support for the island. A source familiar with the speaker’s plans told CNN that she will visit Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and Singapore. A visit to Taiwan remains in doubt.
Escalation around Taiwan
The PRC considers the island its territory and is sensitive to any manifestations of an independent foreign policy by the authorities of the partially recognized Republic of China Taiwan. Amid rumors about Pelosi’s plans, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said that if she arrived, the most stringent measures would be taken.
How transmits AP, On July 30, the Chinese authorities announced that they were conducting military exercises in the Taiwan Strait.
For Taiwan, foreign policy ties, especially with the United States, are very important. The population and authorities of the island oppose the idea of unification with the PRC and fear an armed invasion, from which they will not be able to defend themselves. At the same time, official Taiwan’s reaction to reports of Pelosi’s visit was restrained: the republic cannot but receive a high-ranking official from the United States, but does not want to irritate China with excessive enthusiasm for this visit.
In May, Joe Biden confirmedthat the United States is committed to “maintaining the peace and security of the Taiwan Strait and intends to ensure that its status quo is not changed unilaterally,” including in the event of an armed conflict.
In mid-July, the US State Department approved a $108 million arms shipment to Taiwan, which caused a sharp reaction from Beijing, which demanded that the deal be cancelled.
July 28 Biden talked by phone with Chinese President Xi Jinping. During the conversation, the situation around Taiwan was also discussed.