OPINION: This article contains commentary which may reflect the author's opinion
The Chinese Community Party (CCP) escalated its violent threats against American interests on Monday. At the same time, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) continued her plans to visit Taiwan, enraging the Communist leaders.
Pelosi’s moves are being described as giving Democrat Joe Biden a headache and causing him to look even more foolish and weak- and unprepared to handle our long-time adversaries in China.
“The People’s Liberation Army is reporting that they won’t sit idly by if Pelosi sets foot in Taiwan, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said,” Bloomberg News reported.
“Her stature as the No. 3 US official means a trip would be highly sensitive,” Zhao said at a Beijing press briefing. “As to what measures, let’s wait and see whether she insists on this visit.”
And her visit is stirring the pot and causing people to be very nervous, and the threats keep coming.
“Taiwan has increased its readiness in response to China-led live-fire military exercises in the Taiwan Strait. These exercises, in turn, responded to a possible visit to Taiwan by Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi.
The heightened alert will continue until noon on August 4. After that, it will be adjusted depending on the threat level from the People’s Liberation Army of China,” according to the Central Taiwan News Agency, citing a source in the Ministry of Defense.
Several reports have said Pelosi may visit Taiwan as early as Tuesday and may meet President Tsai Ing-wen on Wednesday.
The White House had Former Pentagon press secretary John Kirby join press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre during Monday’s briefing to discuss the Speaker’s expected to visit Taiwan amid the ongoing threats by the Chinese government, giving the event a sense of intensity.
John Kirby joining @PressSec in briefing today, White House announces, as Speaker Pelosi expected to visit Taiwan despite Chinese threats.
— Philip Melanchthon Wegmann (@PhilipWegmann) August 1, 2022
The Daily Caller reported on the Monday presser, saying that Kirby’s actions made it appear as if the White House was ‘caving’ into pressure by the CCP. Democrat Joe Biden said in May that the US would defend Taiwan if China invaded.
So something is going on:
John Kirby: "…We do not support Taiwan independence"
Looks like the Biden White House is caving to China pic.twitter.com/KOadfrMrb2
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) August 1, 2022
The People’s Liberation Army also posted a video Monday on WeChat, a Chinese instant messaging and social media app, of military soldiers, tanks, and missiles being launched into the sky.
NOW – China's People's Liberation Army just posted a new video on WeChat ahead of Pelosi's potential visit to Taiwan.pic.twitter.com/QaiFcdGCn1
— Disclose.tv (@disclosetv) August 1, 2022
The Chinese Army urged citizens in a Friday social media post to “prepare for war” if the Speaker arrives in Taiwan, vowing a “forceful” response. Chinese Defense Ministry Spokesperson Senior Colonel Tan Kefei previously said her visit would violate the One China principle and “severely endanger China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
“We must bear in mind the fundamental responsibility of preparing for war and charge on the journey of a strong army,” the 80th Group Army posted.
China’s threats of imposing a no-fly zone over Taiwan and preparing for war have mobilized the Pentagon to escalate security measures and troop movements in the Pacific ahead of the Speaker’s trip, fearing increased tensions between the US and China.
At a Friday press briefing, Jean-Pierre refused to comment on the potential threats or any “hypothetical” ahead of Pelosi’s trip. Instead, the press secretary reacted to a Friday tweet by Hu Xijin, former editor-in-chief of the Chinese state-owned Global Times, claiming the People’s Liberation Army has the right to “forcibly dispel” Pelosi’s transportation and US fighter jets by firing warning shots and “making tactical movement of obstruction.”
US Senator Marsha Blackburn responded to the backpedaling by the Biden administration.
“John Kirby just said that Joe Biden does not support Taiwan’s independence. I thought Kirby was supposed to be the clean-up act for Karine Jean-Pierre…,” Blackburn posted.
John Kirby just said that Joe Biden does not support Taiwan’s independence.
I thought Kirby was supposed to be the clean-up act for Karine Jean-Pierre…
— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) August 1, 2022
The Washington Free Beacon has detected some communication breakdown between the government players in this drama, showing clips that contradict each other.
“FLASHBACK: Pentagon Press Sec John Kirby said today: “I don’t know that [Pelosi] was urged not to go” to Taiwan. On July 20, Biden said, “it’s not a good idea” for Pelosi to go,” the outlet reported.
FLASHBACK: Pentagon Press Sec John Kirby said today: "I don't know that [Pelosi] was urged not to go" to Taiwan.
On July 20, Biden said "it's not a good idea" for Pelosi to go. pic.twitter.com/HbI1Wcv9gK
— Washington Free Beacon (@FreeBeacon) August 1, 2022
On May 25, 2022, Thomas Shuttack, a Fellow in the Asia Program at the Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI), wrote about the conflict we are seeing unfold:
During a press conference in Tokyo on May 23, a reporter asked President Joseph Biden, “Are you willing to get involved militarily to defend Taiwan if it comes to that?” The president responded with a clear answer: “Yes . . . that’s the commitment we made.” This answer sent shockwaves across the Indo-Pacific. As expected, Beijing strongly denounced the statement, claiming that Taiwan is “purely China’s internal affair that brooks no foreign interference.” Beijing is also now planning to conduct drills near Taiwan in response.
To many, Biden just upended the decades-long US policy of strategic ambiguity, in which Washington has never explicitly confirmed whether or not the United States would come to Taiwan’s defense or under what conditions such involvement would occur. (This policy gave the United States the ability to decide on its own terms, without over-committing, how to approach a military contingency regarding Taiwan.) To others, it was just another gaffe from Biden, who doesn’t quite fully understand US policy towards Taiwan.
Tuesday, the breaking news was that Pelosi had landed in Taiwan. So we will see what Joe is really made of- very soon.
BREAKING: Nancy Pelosi is welcomed and greeted by the Taiwan’s leaders on arrival at Taipei airport
— Insider Paper (@TheInsiderPaper) August 2, 2022