US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan has caused a stir in China. Pelosi has reaffirmed the US’ support for the hotly-contested island nation.
Chinese warplanes buzzed the line dividing the Taiwan Strait before her arrival. Beijing has also announced joint air and sea drills near Taiwan, and test launches of conventional missiles, in the East of Taiwan.
Pelosi’s visit to the island has enraged the People’s Republic of China. She met with Taiwan President Tsa Ing Wen and pledged support for the island’s democracy.
“And Taiwan has been an island of resilience in the world. Indeed the people of Taiwan have proven to the world that with hope, courage and determination, it is possible to build a peaceful and prosperous future, even in terms of the challenges you face. And now, more than ever America’s solidarity with Taiwan is crucial and that’s the message we are bringing here today.”
Pelosi says these are incredibly hard times. “Today the world faces a choice between democracy and autocracy. America’s determination to preserve democracy here in Taiwan and around the world remains ironclad.”
Pelosi’s visit to the island nation has ruffled feathers with Beijing and they have commenced military drills in the contested waters.
But Tsa Ing Wen says they will not back down as they seek to amplify their voice.
“First in the face of persistent and deliberate escalating military threats, Taiwan will not back down. We will firmly safeguard our national sovereignty and our democracy’s line of defence. At the same time, we also hope to unite and co-operate with democratic countries around the world to jointly protect our democratic values.”
Beijing has demonstrated its anger with Pelosi’s presence on the island and summoned the US ambassador to account and suspended several agricultural imports from Taiwan.
Chinese ambassador to the United Nations Zhang Jun says Pelosi’s visit will undermine China-US relations.
“As we can see such a visit is very much dangerous, very much provocative. If the US insists on making the visit, China will take firm and strong measures to safeguard our national sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Definitely, such a visit undermines the One China principle and undermines China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. It also undermines the peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait. So, if such a visit happens, it will also undermine the relationship between China and the US.”
And Washington has fired back. White House National Security spokesperson John Kirby says the US’ focus now is global peace and stability.
“We will not engage in saber-rattling. We will continue to operate in the seas, in the skies of the western pacific, as we have done for decades. We will continue to support Taiwan, defend a free and open indo-pacific and seek to maintain communication with Beijing, we will keep doing what we are doing which is supporting cross-strait peace and stability.”
Former United States congressman John Leboutillier says Pelosi has the right to visit Taiwan:
China considers Taiwan part of its territory and has never renounced using force to bring it under its control. The US warned China against using the visit as a pretext for military action against Taiwan.