“Several other people familiar with the situation said the private rhetoric went even further by suggesting a possible military response.”
Communist China has issued stronger warnings to the Biden Administration over Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taipei, the capital of Taiwan.
The trip itself is giving Biden officials headaches, but the new warnings will likely put more pressure on the White House to make sure Pelosi doesn’t go:
China has publicly threatened “strong measures” if Pelosi proceeds with the planned visit in August. But one person said China had expressed “stronger opposition” to the US in private than before. Several other people familiar with the situation said the private rhetoric went even further by suggesting a possible military response.
Beijing has not been explicit about its potential responses. Its military could try to block Pelosi from landing in Taiwan or take other actions to impede her visit, such as using fighter jets to intercept her US military aircraft.
Several people said the White House was trying to assess whether China was making serious threats or engaging in brinkmanship in an attempt to pressure Pelosi to abandon her trip.
US national security adviser Jake Sullivan and other senior National Security Council officials oppose the trip because of the risk of escalating tension across the Taiwan Strait, according to two people familiar with the debate.
The NSC declined to comment on whether the administration had urged Pelosi to cancel her trip. John Kirby, NSC head of strategic communications, said on Friday the NSC team provided “context, facts and geopolitical relevant information”, and that the Speaker made her own decisions.
The tension erupted last week when The Financial Times reported that Pelosi plans to visit Taiwan on an Asian trip, including Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, and Singapore. Hawaii would be on the trip, too.
Zhao Lijian, spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, urged U.S. officials to “strictly adhere to the U.S.’s one-China policy.”
“If Speaker Pelosi visits Taiwan, it would seriously violate the one-China principle and the stipulations in the three China-U.S. joint communiqués and harm China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he said Tuesday, warning that such a visit would have “a severe negative impact” on U.S.-China relations.
China considers Taiwan as its own. He told the U.S. to abide by the “One-China” policy.
The U.S. does abide by the “One-China” policy, which recognizes “the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and de-recognizes the Republic of China (ROC) in 1979.”
However, the “One-China” policy does not include Taiwan:
The United States did not, however, give in to Chinese demands that it recognize Chinese sovereignty over Taiwan (which is the name preferred by the United States since it opted to de-recognize the ROC). Instead, Washington acknowledged the Chinese position that Taiwan was part of China. For geopolitical reasons, both the United States and the PRC were willing to go forward with diplomatic recognition despite their differences on this matter. When China attempted to change the Chinese text from the original acknowledge to recognize, Deputy Secretary of State Warren Christopher told a Senate hearing questioner, “[W]e regard the English text as being the binding text. We regard the word ‘acknowledge’ as being the word that is determinative for the U.S.” In the August 17, 1982, U.S.-China Communique, the United States went one step further, stating that it had no intention of pursuing a policy of “two Chinas” or “one China, one Taiwan.”
To this day, the U.S. “one China” position stands: the United States recognizes the PRC as the sole legal government of China but only acknowledges the Chinese position that Taiwan is part of China. Thus, the United States maintains formal relations with the PRC and has unofficial relations with Taiwan.
Despite that fact, the White House doesn’t want Pelosi to visit Taiwan:
President Biden himself on Wednesday told reporters that “the military thinks it’s not a good idea right now” that Pelosi travels to Taiwan. Distrust between Washington and Beijing is at a heightened level, as China has acted with increased aggressiveness in recent encounters with the United States and allied military forces in the region.
The timing is also sensitive as the trip would take place only a few months before a major Communist Party Conference, when Beijing is likely to respond more aggressively to perceived provocations. In particular, President Xi Jinping, who is expected to achieve an unprecedented third term as leader, is keen not to suffer any slights in the lead-up to the conference.
Pelosi responded to Biden by saying that she is not advocating for Taiwanese independence, which is a red line for China. “I think that it’s important for us to show support for Taiwan,” she said at her weekly news conference Thursday, adding, “None of us has ever said we’re for independence when it comes to Taiwan. That’s up to Taiwan to decide.”
America has a history of supporting Taiwan without formal diplomatic relations. The government “has long supported Taiwan’s self-defense capability with arms sales and a close military relationship, as laid out in the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act.”DONATE
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