Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan could ‘tip US-China relations off a cliff’, says Global Times
If House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visits Taiwan in August, China will see that as a “strategic level provocation” that would push relations with the United States “from the top of a cliff” said the Global Times newspaper in a series of harsh editorials this week, citing several experts and government officials. The Chinese Foreign Ministry has already said that the visit will have a “serious impact” and violate existing agreements between Washington and Beijing.
Neither Pelosi nor Taipei has officially confirmed the impending visit, but the Financial Times reported that the 82-year-old Speaker of the House will take a congressional delegation to Taiwan next month, citing “six people familiar with the situation.” His previously supposed visit, in April, did not take place – reportedly due to Pelosi contracting Covid-19.
If it continues this time, Chinese experts told the Global Times that the visit would amount to a provocation provoking a military response from Beijing, with “hard” consequences for the already struggling US economy.
“China should clearly express its resolve and show its strengths, and let the US side decide whether to avoid [a] crisis and ensure a relatively stable situation, or make the turbulent world more chaotic”, output noted.
An unsigned editorial from the Global Times warned that “If Pelosi really goes to Taiwan, she will be on China’s sanctions list,” and his family’s property would be “frozen immediately.
Global Times noted that this would not be the first visit by a Speaker of the House to Taiwan, as Newt Gingrich did in 1997. However, he was a Republican opposed to the government of President Bill Clinton, who had shown “sincerity and making efforts to repair ties with China” after the 1996 crisis on the island. Today, “Pelosi and President Joe Biden are both Democrats, and China-US relations are very intense,” the point of sale pointed out.
“If the visit finally takes place, it would not be a miscalculation but an intentional provocation on the part of the United States,” he added. Lu Xiang, an expert in American studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times. If Washington ignores warnings from Beijing, “We will see China-US relations fall off a cliff, that’s for sure,” he added.
Military expert and TV commentator Song Zhongping speculated that Pelosi was trying to score points for the Democrats ahead of the upcoming midterm elections, while counting on China not to react too forcefully as the Communist Party will prepare its national congress in the fall.
“The United States, on the one hand, seeks China’s cooperation on issues related to Iran, North Korea and Russia, but on the other hand, continues to provoke China over interests basics,” he added. Song, adding that China could react by strengthening its relations with these three countries, even by concluding security agreements in Latin America.
Global Times commentator Hu Xijin went so far as to suggest that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) should send military aircraft to escort Pelosi’s plane and fly over Taiwan in a show of force.
“When we send PLA planes over the island, we [China] must be fully prepared for an all-out military confrontation,” Hu said. “If the Taiwanese military dares to open fire against the PLA planes, then the Taiwanese military planes will be shot down and the Taiwanese military bases will be destroyed. So, if the US and Taiwanese authorities want all-out war, then the time for the liberation of Taiwan will come.
Official Beijing was no less blunt in warning the United States against Pelosi’s visit. On Tuesday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said he would have a “serious impact” on US-China relations, violating the “One China” policy and existing agreements between Washington and Beijing.
“If the United States insists on going its own way, China will take firm and vigorous measures to firmly safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity. The United States must bear all consequences of the visit,” Zhao said.
Global Times is the English-language broadsheet published by People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the Communist Party of China. Beijing considers Taiwan to be part of China’s sovereign territory, although the island was ruled by the nationalist Kuomintang, who found refuge there after losing the civil war to the communists in 1949.