Why do we care? China considers Taiwan to be part of China and doesn’t appreciate the political U.S. visit, which China sees as showing support for Taiwan’s democracy. This is exactly what Pelosi just tweeted:
Our visit reiterates that America stands with Taiwan: a robust, vibrant democracy and our important partner in the Indo-Pacific.
See Tweet by @SpeakerPelosi
China, a communist nation, has promised to conquer Tawian on several occasions. Furthermore, Pelosi has a history of being critical of China and is the first U.S. House speaker to visit Taiwan since 1997.
It’s worth noting that when asked in May whether the U.S. would engage China militarily if China were to attack Taiwan, President Biden said, “Yes…That’s the commitment we made.”
So why is she going and why now? No substantive answer to this question has been found from the Biden administration. Yet the visit might have something to do with the fact that the U.S. has doubled its military presence in Taiwan over the past year. (WSJ) The visit is being perceived as provocative and reckless by China, Russia and others, given the current political climate.
Russian foreign affairs spokeswoman Maria Zakharova described Pelosi’s potential visit “as another provocative action by the U.S. administration, which wants to put additional pressure on Beijing.”
“This is a serious violation of the one-China principle and the provisions of the three China-US joint communiqués. It has a severe impact on the political foundation of China-US relations, and seriously infringes upon China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry said. (China Daily)
What is China doing in response to her visit? After Pelosi’s arrival, China announced military drills in nearby waters: Shortly after Pelosi’s plane landed in Taiwan, China said it would conduct military drills on Taiwan’s territorial waters. setting the stage for a potential showdown over the self-governed island between China and the United States. (NYT)
Meanwhile, the People’s Liberation Army also announced on that it “will conduct a series of joint military operations around the Taiwan Island” beginning Tuesday evening.
Spokesperson Senior Colonel Shi Yi said that the naval drills will involve “long-range combat fire live shooting in the Taiwan Strait, and conventional missile firepower test launching in the waters off Eastern Taiwan Island.” The spokesperson further pointed out that the military operations are “the stern deterrence against the major escalation of the US’ negative moves on the Taiwan question, and also the grave warning on the separatist actions of the “Taiwan independence” forces.” (Unsecure Link; visit at own risk)