House speaker Nancy Pelosi’s plans to visit Taiwan in spite of Chinese threats places the U.S. at greater risk of war against the Communist country, which has a reputation for protecting its sovereignty.
When the Financial Times reported earlier in July that Pelosi’s trip to the Indo-Pacific region would include a stop in Taiwan, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which asserts Taiwan is under China’s control, warned such a visit by Pelosi would warrant its military taking “forceful measures” in response. Amid China’s threats, President Joe Biden told reporters July 20 that the U.S. military thought it was “not a good idea” for Pelosi to go through with making Taiwan a stop on her trip, which includes diplomatic events in South Korea, Japan, Malaysia and Singapore.
Hu Xijin (a CCP-controlled editor) later fueled the firestorm by suggesting that the CCP consider Pelosi’s visit an invasion if she’s accompanied by the U.S. military.
If US fighter jets escort Pelosi’s plane into Taiwan it is invasion,” tweeted Xijun. The PLA (People’s Liberation Army), has the power to disperse Pelosi’s aircraft and US fighter jets. This includes firing warning shots, and making the tactical move of obstruction. If ineffective, then shoot them down.”
Pelosi’s Sunday press release announcing the members and itinerary for the congressional delegation to the Indo-Pacific region did not include a stop in Taiwan. However, U.S. and Taiwanese officials confirmed Pelosi has plans to stop in Taipei overnight, CNN reported Monday.
Economist and Asia Times columnist David P. Goldman said in a tweet Monday that a former U.N. ambassador warned that if Pelosi traveled to Taiwan, China may view her trip as a violation of a 1972 U.S.-China diplomatic agreement, the Shanghai Communique, and respond accordingly. (RELATED: ‘Do Not Support’: Biden Official Reaffirms Taiwan Policy Ahead Of Pelosi Trip)
During the Nixon administration, the U.S. forged ahead with easing tensions and improving diplomatic relations with China, including the U.S. agreeing to stay out of the dispute over Taiwan’s independence. The U.S. adopted the “One China” policy, in which it acknowledges that there is one Chinese government on several islands. The U.S., however, has continued to foster a “robust unofficial relationship” with Taiwan for decades, according to a Department of State fact sheet.
Just so it is clear,” Goldman tweeted. According to diplomatic protocol, this state visit is considered a State Visit by Pelosi because she is 2nd Constitutionally in line for the presidency. That, as a former US UN ambassador told me, is a clear violation of the ’72 Shanghai Communique. That’s why China will respond.”
Just so it’s clear: Pelosi is Constitutionally 2nd in line to POTUS, so this is a state visit from the standpoint of diplomatic protocol. That, as a former US UN ambassador told me, is a clear violation of the ’72 Shanghai Communique. China will react.
— David P. Goldman (@davidpgoldman) August 1, 2022
The PLA released a video encouraging Chinese citizens to “prepare for war” on the Chinese social media app Weibo, which received 300,000 positive reactions within 12 hours of its posting Friday, the state-run Global Times reported.
“We must bear in mind the fundamental responsibility of preparing for war and charge on the journey of a strong army,” the PLA’s 80th Group Army reportedly stated.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters during a regular briefing Monday that Pelosi visiting Taiwan would result in “strong countermeasures,” Reuters reported.
We would like to remind the U.S. that China stands by and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army won’t sit by,” Lijian said. China will respond with strong countermeasures and resolute actions to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity. As for what measures, if she dares to go, then let’s wait and see.”
White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby warned Monday that China seems to be preparing to respond to Pelosi’s planned trip by “positioning itself” for possible “military provocations,” Business Insider reported. According to reports, Kirby said that China could respond by firing missiles into the Taiwan Strait and around Taiwan as well as “operations breaking historical norms such large-scale air intrusions into Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone.”
Former American Enterprise Institute Jeane Kirkpatrick Visiting Fellow Michael Beckley and American Enterprise Institute senior fellow Hal Brands wrote that China goes to war with adversaries perceived to be attacking its sovereign territory in a piece in The Atlantic titled “What Will Drive China to War? “
“To be clear, every decision for war is complex, and factors including domestic politics and the personality quirks of individual leaders have also figured in China’s choices to fight,” the two wrote in October 2021. The overarching pattern is that Beijing becomes violent when it faces the possibility of losing permanent control of its territory. It tends to attack one enemy to scare off others.”
Republican Florida Rep. Mike Waltz, a retired Green Beret commander, told Fox News on Friday that if China responds to Pelosi’s trip by shooting down her plane, the U.S. must take it as an act of war. (RELATED: ‘We Must Arm Taiwan’: Hawley Spearheads Effort To Thwart Chinese Aggression)
Waltz said China’s threats against Pelosi were “unacceptable” and the Biden administration needs to “make it clear that should any harm come to Speaker Pelosi and her trip to Taiwan, it’s tantamount to a declaration of war.”
Director of MIT’s Security Studies Program M. Taylor Fravel warned on Twitter that China’s response to Pelosi visiting Taiwan “will almost certainly include a military component,” like “live fire exercises, a much greater military presence within the Taiwan Strait and [especially] across ‘the median line,’ even missile tests.”
“The response will also include economic and diplomatic actions, probably mostly targeting Taiwan,” Fravel tweeted. The response to Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan will probably take place over several days, if not weeks. However, it is likely that the process will begin after she leaves Taiwan. China, unlike previous CODELs, will not only surge aircraft into Taiwan’s ADIZ for one or two .”
HTML3_3) days. However, the response is likely to take place over several days, if it does not start immediately after Pelosi leaves Taiwan. China’s response will be different from previous CODELs. It will go beyond bringing aircraft to Taiwan’s ADIZ. 9/
— M. Taylor Fravel (@fravel) August 1, 2022
Fravel added that although it’s likely that China’s goal is to show force “without sparking escalation,” China’s increased “military component” in an area with “significant U.S. naval assets” allows a “potential for miscalculation.”
The U.K.’s national security adviser, Sir Stephen Lovegrove, said during a Friday speech that backdoor channels between China and western countries, like the U.S. and the U.K., have dissolved to the point of an increased potential for war, including nuclear. During the cold war we had a number of discussions and dialogs which helped us understand Soviet doctrine and capabilities and vice versa. This gave us both a higher level of confidence that we would not miscalculate our way into nuclear war,” Lovegrove said at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies on Friday.
Lovegrove stated that the loss of communication with China could “pose a threat to us in the future .”
” We have concerns about China’s nuclear modernization plan, which will increase the amount and type of its nuclear weapons systems,” Lovegrove added.
– A new WeChat video has been posted by the People’s Liberation Army of China ahead of Pelosi’s possible visit to Taiwan. pic.twitter.com/QaiFcdGCn1
— Disclose.tv (@disclosetv) August 1, 2022
China allegedly successfully tested its “Fractional Orbital Bombardment System” designed to evade U.S. military defense systems while circling the globe before hitting its target, the Financial Times reported in 2021.
“The simplest way to think about China’s orbital bombardment system is to imagine a space shuttle, put a nuclear weapon into the cargo bay, and forget about the landing gear,” Jeffrey Lewis, East Asia Nonproliferation Program director at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, wrote in Foreign Policy.
The U.S. reportedly spent around $70 billion to construct the Ground-based Midcourse Defense system in Alaska, but China’s orbital bombardment system can “get those warheads to U.S. soil much faster” by going over the South Pole, Lewis wrote.