OPINION: This article contains commentary which may reflect the author's opinion
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been planning on visiting Taiwan for some time, but a bout with Covid pushed plans to travel there to August. Officials in the Chinese Communist Party were livid when it was leaked that she would be showing up in what they consider a breakaway province even though the CCP has never ruled the island.
A statement from the Chinese Foreign Ministry on Tuesday said it would “closely follow Pelosi’s itinerary” and take “firm and powerful measures to safeguard China’s sovereignty.”
“We closely follow Pelosi’s itinerary. If the US insists on going its own way, China will take firm and powerful measures to safeguard China’s sovereignty and security interests,” official Hua Chunying said.
As the Foreign Ministry warned yesterday, the People’s Liberation Army would not sit idly by if Pelosi landed on their turf.
Chinese leaders are furious and have threatened to take action after the US provoked them over the breakaway island for which they have long claimed ownership.
According to the UK’s Sun, “Pelosi landed at Taipei’s Songshan Airport at around 10.45pm local time on Tuesday, becoming the highest-ranking American official to visit the Asian country in 25 years.”
The House Speaker and her delegation disembarked the US Air Force plane and were greeted by Taiwan’s foreign minister Joseph Wu and Sandra Oudkrik, the top US representative in Taiwan.
The world is now bracing for China’s response after Chinese leader Xi Jinping warned US President Joe Biden during a call last week that “whoever plays with fire will get burnt” if they allow Pelosi to land in Taiwan.
Pelosi has been warned repeatedly not to go, and the US has warned Beijing not to escalate the situation.
“There is no reason for Beijing to turn a potential visit consistent with longstanding US policy into some sort of crisis or conflict, or use it as a pretext to increase aggressive military activity in or around the Taiwan Strait,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Monday.
Pelosi, eager to stoke the flame, lit the fuse by tweeting out:
“Our delegation’s visit to Taiwan honors America’s unwavering commitment to supporting Taiwan’s vibrant Democracy. Our discussions with Taiwan leadership reaffirm our support for our partner & promote our shared interests, including advancing a free & open Indo-Pacific region.”
Pelosi continued, “America’s solidarity with the 23 million people of Taiwan is more important today than ever, as the world faces a choice between autocracy and democracy.”
America’s solidarity with the 23 million people of Taiwan is more important today than ever, as the world faces a choice between autocracy and democracy.
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) August 2, 2022
Our visit reiterates that America stands with Taiwan: a robust, vibrant democracy and our important partner in the Indo-Pacific. pic.twitter.com/2sSRJXN6ST
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) August 2, 2022
The CCP reacted swiftly and angrily to Pelosi’s statement. According to CCP state-affiliated media outlet Xinhua News:
Spokesperson of the Ministry of National Defense Wu Qian on Tuesday released a statement in response to the visit to China’s Taiwan region by Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. The following is the full text of the remarks:
On Aug. 2, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi visited China’s Taiwan region. The Chinese side strongly condemns and firmly opposes this visit. Despite the Chinese side’s repeated warnings of the serious consequences this visit would cause, Pelosi insisted on making the wrong move, maliciously provoking and creating the crisis, which seriously violated the one-China principle and the provisions of the three China-U.S. joint communiques, seriously eroded the political foundation of the China-U.S. relations, and seriously undermined China-U.S. state-to-state and military-to-military relations. This act of the U.S. side has sent a seriously wrong signal to the separatists for “Taiwan independence” and further escalated tensions across the Taiwan Strait.
Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party authorities have solicited foreign support, colluded with external forces to stir up troubles and been bent on inviting Pelosi to visit Taiwan. Such acts are very dangerous and will inevitably lead to serious consequences. The Chinese People’s Liberation Army is on high alert and will take a series of targeted military operations in response to resolutely safeguard China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and resolutely thwart the interference by external forces and the separatist schemes for “Taiwan independence.”
The CCP is planning military operations tonight in the area of Taiwan.
The Eastern Theater Command of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) will launch a series of joint military operations around the Taiwan Island starting from Tuesday night https://t.co/2z7WqDZqR1 pic.twitter.com/iIE1WApW52
— China Xinhua News (@XHNews) August 2, 2022
The Eastern Theater Command of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) will launch a series of joint military operations around the Taiwan Island starting from Tuesday night.
The PLA Eastern Theater Command will stage joint training exercises in the maritime areas off the northern, southwestern and southeastern coasts of the island and their air space, conduct long-range live-fire drills in the Taiwan Strait and conventional missile tests in the waters off the eastern coast of the island.
The military operations are a stern deterrent against the recent major escalation of the negative acts by the United States on the Taiwan question, and a serious warning against separatist activities seeking “Taiwan independence.”
The USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) aircraft carrier and USS Tripoli (LHA-7) amphibious assault ship are deployed near Taiwan, along the shores of the South China Sea, with Marine F-35B Lighting II Joint Strike Fighters aboard.
Some on social media are criticizing what seems to be Democrat inconsistencies and Pelosi’s stock trading husband.
Hey Democrats, which is it???
John Kirby at the White House yesterday: "…We do not support Taiwan independence"
Pelosi in a statement today: "our congressional delegation's visit to Taiwan honors America’s unwavering commitment to supporting Taiwan’s vibrant democracy."
— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) August 2, 2022
Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan is expected to cost tax payers over $90 million for security, allocation of US military presence, and more.
All this for her to get a private tour of the Nvidia chip factory after she purchased millions in shares using insider info.
— Ian Smith (@iansmithfitness) August 2, 2022