Speaker of the US House of Representatives, third-ranking American politician Nancy Pelosi will visit Taiwan as part of her tour of Asia, despite concerns from the White House about a possible escalation with Beijing. This was reported on August 1 by CNN, citing two informed sources.
According to a senior Taiwanese official, Pelosi is expected to arrive in Taiwan and spend one night on the island. When exactly the politician will arrive on the island, he did not specify.
As a source in the US administration added, Washington fears the consequences of such a scenario, as it does not want a confrontation with Beijing. The Pentagon is working around the clock, he said, monitoring any movement of Chinese forces in the region and developing a plan to keep Pelosi safe.
Later on Monday, four Chinese J-16 fighter jets entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone. They left the area after a few minutes. It also became known that a group of US Navy aircraft carriers headed for the waters southeast of Taiwan.
On July 19, the Financial Times reported on Pelosi’s possible visit to Taiwan. The publication wrote that the politician intends to visit the island to show support for Taiwan, which is under the growing influence of Beijing.
Against the backdrop of these reports, the Chinese Foreign Ministry threatened to use force if Pelosi arrived in Taiwan. The ministry regards the visit as “gross interference in the internal politics of the PRC.”
Official relations between the Chinese government and its island province broke down in 1949, when the Kuomintang forces led by Chiang Kai-shek, who lost in a civil war with the Communist Party of China, moved to Taiwan. Contact between the island and mainland China resumed in the late 1980s. The US openly supports the Taiwan authorities.