Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan: ‘We will BURY incoming enemies,’ warns Chinese military – JONATHAN SAXTY | Express a comment | Comment
US and Taiwanese officials have suggested so, although there is no official confirmation yet. Pelosi is expected to meet Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen and possibly spend the night in Taipei. A touchdown in Taiwan – considered a renegade province by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) – would mark the most significant visit by an American politician since Newt Gingrich’s visit in 1997, when he himself was president of the Bedroom.
China has publicly threatened “strong measures” if Pelosi continues his trip, while the US Department of Defense monitors Chinese military movements in the region. There are fears that China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) will respond directly if Pelosi’s visit continues.
China’s foreign ministry yesterday warned of the ‘glaring political impact’ of the trip and said the military ‘would not sit idly by’ if Beijing felt its ‘sovereignty and territorial integrity’ were being undermined. threatened.
On Monday, the PLA Eastern Theater Command also warned that it would “bury incoming enemies”.
In Washington on Monday, John Kirby – strategic communications coordinator at the US National Security Council – said there was “no reason” for Beijing to turn any visit into a “pretext to increase aggressive military activity. “.
Kirby warned that “China appears to be positioning itself to potentially take further action,” which “could include military provocations, such as firing missiles into the Taiwan Strait.” “We should not be intimidated by this rhetoric or these potential actions. This is an important trip for the President and we will do all we can to support her.
Whatever actions the two sides take could signal intent and resolution on Taiwan.
Amid growing threats of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, tensions have risen nonetheless, with Chinese leader Xi Jinping warning US President Joe Biden “those who play with fire will perish”.
This rhetoric is not new, but there are fears that with Pelosi, China really isn’t bluffing.
China has recently beefed up its military capabilities, while Beijing has raised the possibility of a move to Taiwan.
However, not only can the CCP not afford to back down from Pelosi – given the potential loss of face – but it has increasingly backed into a corner to make a move to Taiwan.
Amid the Pelosi drama, Chinese Air Force spokesman Shen Jinke said Beijing will “resolutely safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity”, a direct reference to Taiwan.
Meanwhile, a PLA unit warned on the Weibo microblogging site: “Prepare for war”.
(10:30 a.m. update: Taiwan scrambles fighter jets as Pelosi enters airspace after China threatens to shoot it down)
Over the weekend, the PLA conducted military drills off the coast of China opposite Taiwan, and more drills are expected today. Although China is unlikely to try to shoot down Pelosi’s plane, fighter jets could try to intercept it or prevent it from landing, prompting a US response.
Of course, losing face is not just a problem for Beijing. Although the White House insists the decision to visit rests with Pelosi alone, failure to do so would send a message — especially to America’s allies — that China’s bullying works. No wonder Democrats and Republicans are rallying behind her.
Right now it’s a test of will. Besides its major role in the global semiconductor industry, Taiwan is part of the “First Island Chain”, which effectively blocks China’s direct access and dominance over the Pacific. Take Taiwan and the United States could be driven out of the region, with huge ramifications.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine adds pressure. For many Chinese nationalists, if Russia can achieve some sort of victory over Ukraine, then what is China waiting for?
A strong display by China would signal intent and resolve to take Taiwan, while a visit by Pelosi and any response to Chinese aggression by the United States would signal intent and resolve to defend Taiwan. Who will blink first? We may be about to find out.