Published on: 31.07.2022 – 17:02
The Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, confirmed this Sunday, July 31, that she was heading to Asia, without mentioning a possible stopover in Taiwan that could further deteriorate relations between China and the United States.
In a statement, the House Speaker said 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.”
Nancy Pelosi says the delegation will travel to Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan. Peace and security, economic growth and trade, the Covid-19 pandemic, the climate crisis, human rights and democratic governance are on the menu of this Asia trip. Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has confirmed that Nancy Pelosi and her accompanying delegation will visit the city-state from August 1-2.
The President of the House of Representatives, on the other hand, maintains ambiguity about a possible visit to Taiwan, citing security reasons. For weeks, tensions have been rising between the United States and China over reports they may visit the self-governing island, which China considers part of its territory. Beijing would consider even the shortest passage by the Speaker of the House of Representatives on the island to be a provocation.
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Chinese Air Force spokesman Shen Jinke reiterated that position on Sunday, saying defending Chinese territory is the army’s “sacred mission.” “The Air Force has firm determination, full confidence and sufficient capability to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he said, quoted by the People’s Daily newspaper.
Thursday, in a rare direct exchange Along with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, US President Joe Biden asserted that the United States’ position on Taiwan “has not changed” and that his country was making “unilateral efforts to change status or seek peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.” threaten, resolutely refuses”. Washington maintains no diplomatic ties with Taipei and recognizes the communist regime in Beijing as China’s sole representative. But the United States is selling arms to the island and praising its “democratic” regime.
For his part, Xi Jinping urged Joe Biden not to “play with fire” and a spokesman for Chinese diplomacy had spoken of Nancy Pelosi’s trip to the island as a “red line”.
“Taiwan is a country with its own sovereignty. With this in mind, we must extend hospitality to every citizen of a friendly country, Taiwan, who wishes to join us. As for the political decision to visit us or not, it is up to the person himself to decide, You Si-Kun, the President of Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan (the equivalent of the National Assembly), responded when interviewed by RFI. When the People’s Republic of China claims to want to accompany Nancy Pelosi with a fighter jet or even set up an exclusion zone, Taiwan feels taunted as a country with its own sovereignty. »
Nancy Pelosi’s visit comes as military tensions rise in the region. The Taiwanese military conducted its largest annual military exercises this week, which included mock interceptions of Chinese attacks from the sea. Meanwhile, the US aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan and its flotilla left Singapore for the South China Sea as part of a planned operation, it said the US Navy. And on Saturday, China held a “live ammunition” military drill in the Taiwan Strait in response.
(And with AFP)