White House condemns China’s rhetoric about Nancy Pelosi’s travel to Taiwan

WASHINGTON The United States will not fall for Beijing’s trap or indulge in saber rattling, and it has no interest in escalating tensions with China, the White House declared on Monday in response to Beijing’s rhetoric on a visit to Taiwan by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

John Kirby, a spokesperson for the White House National Security Council, emphasized that it was ultimately up to Pelosis whether to travel to the autonomous island that China claims as its own. He mentioned the frequent congressional visits to Taiwan over the years.

According to Kirby, officials in the administration are worried that Beijing might use the visit as an excuse to carry out provocative retaliatory actions, such as military action like firing missiles into the Taiwan Strait or around Taiwan, flying sorties into Taiwan’s airspace, or conducting massive naval exercises in the strait.

Simply put, Kirby said, there is no reason for Beijing to create a crisis out of a potential visit that is consistent with long-standing U.S. policy or to use it as an excuse to step up aggressive military operations in or near the Taiwan Strait.

As Pelosi began her trip to Asia on Monday with meetings with officials in Singapore, the Biden administration retaliated against Beijing.

Pelosi will arrive in Taiwan on Tuesday night, according to local media, making her the highest-ranking elected U.S. official to visit in more than 25 years, despite the absence of any official announcements. She would travel to Taipei after visiting Malaysia, according to unnamed sources quoted by Taiwan’s three main national newspapers, the United Daily News, Liberty Times, and China Times.

Beijing is incensed by reports of such a visit since it sees Taiwan as its own territory and has repeatedly threatened dire consequences if the trip really takes place.

Zhao Lijian, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said in Beijing that if Pelosi insists on going to Taiwan, China will take firm action to protect its territorial integrity and sovereignty.

Zhao warned about playing with fire because you will die from it. We would want to remind the U.S. once more that we are completely ready for any situation and the PLA would never watch helplessly. China’s military is known as the People’s Liberation Army.

Zhang Jun, China’s ambassador to the United Nations, reaffirmed Beijing’s vow to retaliate if Pelosi makes what he called a provocative travel to Taiwan. He also emphasized that the one China concept is a red line that we do not permit anyone to cross.

As China assumed the U.N. Security Council president this month, Zhang stated at a news conference that Taiwan’s propensity toward independence is advancing with the assistance of some foreign factors, which he did not name.

Therefore, Zhang warned, if we don’t act forcefully and appropriately to halt it, things might possibly go out of hand. Therefore, any action taken by the Chinese government or military to stop Taiwan from continuing in the wrong direction, namely toward independence, is legal.

Zhang claimed he wasn’t in a position to discuss what actions were taken, but I can see that there is a hardness and a determination. To protect our territorial integrity and sovereignty, we will take all necessary measures.

In a phone discussion with President Joe Biden last week, Chinese President Xi Jinping again cautioned the United States against interfering with Beijing’s relations with the island.

Chinese pressure on Taiwan has been progressively increasing on the diplomatic and military fronts. Fears of a fresh crisis in the Taiwan Strait, which separates the two sides, that might destabilize international markets and supply networks, have been raised in response to threats of reprisal for a visit by Pelosi.

Beijing interprets official American contacts with Taiwan as encouragement to formally recognize Taiwan’s long-standing de facto independence, a move that American authorities claim they oppose. Since former Speaker Newt Gingrich visited Taiwan in 1997, Pelosi, head of one of the three branches of the U.S. government, would be the highest-ranking elected American politician to do so.

The Biden administration has made an effort to reassure Beijing that there is no cause for conflict and that if such a visit were to take place, it would not represent a shift in American policy. On Monday, administration representatives urged China to temper its language, stressing that there was no need for Beijing to raise tensions in the Taiwan Strait over the probable visit.

What I can say is that Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated that prior speakers had visited Taiwan and that many members of Congress have done so recently, including this year. Therefore, Beijing would be solely responsible if the speaker does decide to travel there and China tries to cause a crisis or otherwise aggravate relations.

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