The Speaker of the House of Representatives remains unconfirmed whether she will make the trip, although she said it was “important” to show support for Taiwan
BEIJING.- China warned today that the United States will have to bear “all the consequences” of a possible visit to Taiwan by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi , in a context of tensions between the two countries.
This notice comes ahead of a phone call scheduled for the next few days between Chinese President Xi Jinping and his American counterpart, Joe Biden.
The issues of friction between Beijing and Washington have multiplied in recent years: the South China Sea, China ‘s growing influence in the Asia-Pacific region , the war in Ukraine and even Taiwan.
China regards the island, which has a population of 24 million, as one of its historic provinces, although it does not control the territory.
Beijing, which opposes any contact between Taiwan and other countries, has increased military and diplomatic pressure against Taipei since the 2016 election of Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen , who hails from an independence party.
At the same time, tensions between China and the United States have also increased over several US arms sales to Taiwan and the visit to the island of US politicians who have come to offer their support to the Taiwanese authorities.
Nancy Pelosi, one of the most important political figures in the United States, plans to travel to Taiwan next month, according to the media.
However, Pelosi still has not confirmed if she will make the trip , although she said: “It is important for us to show our support for Taiwan.”
China warned on Monday that “it is ready” to respond to the visit of the American dignitary and reiterated on Wednesday its “firm opposition.”
“If the United States persists in defying China’s red line” with this visit to Taiwan, “it will face strong countermeasures and must bear all the consequences ,” Chinese diplomatic spokesman Zhao Lijian told a news conference. .
Lijian responded in this way to a question about reports that the US military would increase its activity in Asia-Pacific in the event of a visit from Pelosi.
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This trip to Taiwan is only a hypothesis that is being debated within the US administration. Unusually, Biden himself assured last week that the US military considers that the displacement of the president of the House of Representatives “was not a good idea.”
Indeed, a possible visit by Pelosi has alarmed the Biden administration, which fears the trip could cross red lines at a time when his counterpart, Xi Jinping, is preparing to cement his leadership at a party meeting. communist which is expected at the end of the year.
Today, Taiwan enjoys broad support from the US Congress , so much so that threats from Beijing have only prompted calls for Pelosi to continue her journey.
The United States, like most countries, does not officially recognize Taiwan. However, Washington widely supports the island and often praises its “democratic” status. In addition, the United States is its largest supplier of weapons.
Viewing it as a violation of its sovereignty, China has increased pressure against Taiwan in recent years, including through incursions into the island’s air defense zone (“Adiz”). US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said last month that these expeditions were a sign of “increasingly provocative rhetoric and activity” by Beijing.
In late May, Biden angered China by claiming that the US would intervene militarily to support Taiwan in the event of an invasion by China . Later, he backtracked, noting his penchant for “strategic ambiguity.”
Taiwan, which has its own government, currency, and army, has never formally declared its independence . Now, China is threatening to use force if it ends up proclaiming it.