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China Threatens to Attack Taiwan if US House Speaker Visits

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Rumor has it Chinese officials have threatened military action against Taiwan if US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visits the island as planned in August, reports the Financial Times. 

Pelosi’s visit comes at an unprecedented time of tension between China and Taiwan and overlaps with several events important to Chinese President Xi Jinping – including a conclave during which he will advocate for a third term as head of the CCP’s Congress. 

At least six White House officials familiar with China’s threat said it seemed more serious than the regime’s earlier warnings regarding American support for Taiwan. “Previously the gangster was wearing a suit, but now he is directly taking the knife out,” said one official.

China has repeatedly made clear its threat to use military might to force Taiwan to accept Beijing’s leadership. And though the United States officially recognizes Taiwan as part of China per the “One China” principle, the Biden Administration has made considerable effort to show support for the island. 

In May, Washington enraged China by significantly changing a State Department fact sheet regarding its relationship with Taiwan. Among other changes, the update removed language describing Taiwan as a part of China without its own government and denouncing support for the island’s independence (read more here). 

Pelosi’s trip is another show of support for Taiwan and will mark the first time a senior White House official has visited the island since then-President Bill Clinton sent his House Speaker, Newt Gingrich, in 1997. During that visit, Gingrich issued a clear warning that America would defend Taiwan if China ever attacked.

Chinese officials have warned that a visit from Pelosi would call into question America’s commitment to the One China policy, though it’s important to note that Pelosi has no real power to make any announcements or commitments during her trip. If she says anything unsettling, the Biden Administration will simply claim her trip was a personal errand.

The Biden Administration’s decision to send Pelosi (instead of someone like Sec. of State Antony Blinken) is nothing more than “poking the dragon,” says YouTuber Alex Christoforou. “She’s not really going to Taiwan to engage in any type of diplomacy or foreign policy…it’s just basically a trip to annoy China.”

Regardless, many officials in the US and allied countries have urged Pelosi to cancel the trip. Though China’s threat was not specific, it is very possible the CCP will use fighter jets or other means to prevent the House Speaker from landing in Taipei.

Nick Burns, the US ambassador to China, cut short a visit to Washington and returned to China after hearing of the threat. He is currently preparing to assist during a phone call between Presidents Biden and Jinping that is scheduled to take place before the end of the month. 

Speaking with Mr. Christoforou on his YouTube channel, Alexander Mercouris says he believes the Administration will find a way to permanently postpone Pelosi’s trip. We will likely avoid conflict this time, but it is “alarming” how close we got. “If you’re worried about what’s happening to the world economy because of Ukraine and the sanctions on Russia, well that’s going to be like a picnic compared to what will happen if there’s a war in the Pacific between China and the US over Taiwan.”

Author’s Note:

This is a tricky situation. We don’t want to be bullied by China into not visiting an ally and we don’t want to be humiliated by caving to China’s threats. 

On the other hand, does the Biden Administraiton know what to do if China acts against Taiwan? A stronger president could send a senior official to Taiwan and not receive threats, but Biden is not that man. 

Sources:

China strengthens warning to US about Nancy Pelosi’s planned Taiwan trip

The Duran: China warns Biden WH, military action on the table if Pelosi visits Taiwan

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