Throughout former President Donald Trump’s tenure in office, Democrats and the media routinely howled over his mere mention of Taiwan and how he might provoke conflict with the Chinese communist regime over U.S. relations with the small independent island nation off the coast of China, which Beijing views as a rebellious breakaway province that belongs to the Chinese mainland.
Now there are rumors that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is set to personally visit Taiwan next month and the Chinese government has warned that it will take “forceful measures” to defend and protect what it views as its own territory, the Conservative Brief reported.
In other words, for all of the empty talk about how Trump would foolishly and provocatively blunder his way into a military conflict with a nuclear superpower like China, it is actually Pelosi who may well do exactly that in the coming weeks.
China warns against Pelosi visit to Taiwan
Though nothing has been officially announced, Reuters reported that Speaker Pelosi is purportedly scheduled to take a congressional delegation on a cross-Pacific trip in August to visit U.S. Naval headquarters in Hawaii, along with Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, and Singapore, as well as possibly Taiwan.
However, the government of Taiwan says it has “not received relevant information” about that alleged visit, and Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff Drew Hammill said in a statement, “We do not confirm or deny international travel in advance due to longstanding security protocols.”
Yet, despite the lack of confirmation of a Taiwan visit for Pelosi and friends, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijan said Tuesday that such a visit would “seriously undermine China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
“If the U.S. side obstinately clings to this course, China will definitely take resolute and forceful measures to firmly defend its national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Lijan said. “The United States must be fully responsible for all the consequences caused by this.”
Visit would be symbolically significant
The Washington Post reported that this cross-Pacific delegation led by Speaker Pelosi, including a visit to Taiwan, was initially scheduled to take place in April but had to be postponed after the fully vaccinated and boosted House speaker had contracted COVID-19.
Should Pelosi actually visit Taiwan in August, she would be the most senior U.S. politician to set foot on that island nation since former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) did so in 1997.
The big problem here is that the U.S. government doesn’t formally recognize Taiwan’s sovereign independence — instead, it plays China’s game of formally acknowledging that Taiwan, which broke away in 1949 following the civil war won by the communists, as being part and parcel of mainland China — but nonetheless unofficially engages in trade and provides financial and military support for the island nation.
China prepared to use military force over Taiwan
This certainly isn’t the first time that China has threatened military force over U.S. relations with Taiwan, as the Post reported separately in June that Chinese Defense Minister Gen. Wei Fenghe said at a defense conference in Singapore that the U.S. was a “bully” that was interfering in China’s internal affairs and that, “If you want confrontation, we will fight to the end.”
“China will not be the bully. We are all clear-eyed who is the bully,” the general said at that time. “Let me be clear: If anyone dares to secede Taiwan from China, we will not hesitate to fight. We will fight at all costs, and we will fight to the very end.”