Mrs Pelosi has “the right to visit Taiwan”, says the White House

Mrs Pelosi has “the right to visit Taiwan”, says the White House

The Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, who began an Asian tour in Singapore on Monday, “has the right to visit Taiwan”, estimated the White House, according to which China “seems to be positioning itself” for a show of military force around this island which it claims.

Ms. Pelosi maintains the vagueness around a stopover in Taiwan which could further poison the already tense relations between Beijing and Washington, but several Taiwanese and foreign media confirmed this trip on Monday, citing anonymous sources. The Financial Times even wrote that she would meet Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen in Taipei on Wednesday.

Ms. Pelosi “has the right to visit Taiwan”, hammered Monday John Kirby, the spokesman of the White House for strategic issues, and this the day when this senior official, second in the order of succession to the American president, was in Singapore.

“There is no reason for Beijing to make this visit, which does not derogate from long-standing American doctrine, a form of crisis,” he added, against a backdrop of increasing American tensions. -Chinese following reports that Ms Pelosi may be going to Taiwan.

China “seems to be positioning itself to potentially take a step further in the coming days,” Kirby continued: “This could include military provocations like firing missiles into the Taiwan Strait or around Taiwan,” or more “significant air incursions” into the air defense identification zone of this island.

– Chinese warnings –

“If the Speaker of the House of Representatives (…) goes to Taiwan, China will definitely take firm and vigorous countermeasures to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity,” a spokesperson warned earlier. Chinese diplomacy, Zhao Lijian. The Chinese army “will not sit idly by,” he said.

“As we see it, such a visit seems very dangerous and very provocative,” Chinese Ambassador to the United Nations Zhang Jun said at a press conference. “If this visit takes place, it will also weaken the relationship between China and the United States. I’m sure the United States understands that.”

To support their message, the Chinese military released a martial-tone video on the Internet on Monday showing soldiers shouting that they are ready for combat, fighters taking off, paratroopers jumping from a plane or a rain of missiles. which annihilate various targets.

“Any enemy who dares to invade us will be buried here”, specifies a very short text accompanying these images, which does not explicitly mention either Taiwan or Nancy Pelosi.

In this context, in Singapore, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong called on the latter to work for “stable” relations with Beijing.

Pelosi announced on Sunday that she was leading “a congressional delegation to the Indo-Pacific region to reaffirm America’s unwavering commitment to its allies and friends in the region.”

“In Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan, we will have high-level meetings to discuss how we can promote our common values ​​and interests,” she added, without mentioning Taiwan in her itinerary. .

Delegations of American officials travel frequently to this island to express their support. But a visit by Ms Pelosi would be unprecedented since that of her predecessor Newt Gingrich in 1997.

The United States practices a so-called “strategic ambiguity” diplomacy with regard to Taiwan, consisting in recognizing only one Chinese government, that of Beijing, while continuing to provide decisive support to Taipei but in refraining from saying whether or not they would defend this territory militarily in the event of an invasion.

– Military maneuvers –

A trip to Taiwan by Ms. Pelosi, a central figure in President Joe Biden’s Democratic majority, would in any case singularly complicate the task of American diplomacy, which is striving not to deteriorate relations with China.

Last week, during a telephone conversation with the American president, his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping called on the United States not to “play with fire”.

On Monday, 4,000 American and Indonesian soldiers began major military maneuvers, but Washington assured that they were not targeting any country.

The Taiwanese military meanwhile conducted its largest annual military drills last week, which included mock interceptions of Chinese attacks.

On Saturday, as a response, China organized a “live ammunition” military exercise in the Taiwan Strait – very close to the Chinese coast, however.

In Taiwan, opinions are divided on the prospect of a visit by Ms Pelosi, but senior figures from the ruling party and the opposition have said that the island must not give in to Chinese pressure.


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