China warns US over rumored Taiwan trip – How will Beijing respond if Nancy Pelosi visits the island?

Chinese President Xi Jinping

Chinese President Xi Jinping

Photo : ANI

Taipei: As China fumes over US ‘interference’ in Taiwan, there is growing concern that the tense situation may escalate into a military row. With reports indicating that US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will soon be visiting the island nation that Beijing claims at its own, Russia‘s foreign ministry has also accused Washington of trying to ‘destabilise the world’.

China considers Taiwan its territory and has indicated through repeated warnings that it would view a visit by Pelosi as a major provocation. “The US side will bear the responsibility and pay the price for undermining China’s sovereign security interests,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a regular press briefing on Tuesday.

Following the unconfirmed reports about Pelosi’s route, China has already taken several anticipatory (or warning) steps. Several Chinese warplanes flew close to the median line dividing the Taiwan Strait while Chinese warships sailed near the unofficial dividing line. According to a Reuters report quoting sources, both Chinese warships and aircraft “squeezed” the median line on Tuesday morning – an unusual move that was described as “very provocative.”

The Chinese aircraft repeatedly conducted tactical moves of briefly “touching” the median line and circling back to the other side of the strait on Tuesday morning, while Taiwanese aircraft were on standby nearby. While the planes eventually left, the ships ahev remained. Neither side’s aircraft normally cross the median line.

Meanwhile, the website of Taiwan’s presidential office has received an overseas cyber attack. Currently, the Taiwan government’s website is down with a 502 (server overload) error.

China-Taiwan Tensions Explained Is PLA Preparing For War English News World News
China-Taiwan Tensions Explained, Is PLA ‘Preparing For War’? English News | World News

Taiwan’s Defence Ministry said in a statement it has a full grasp of military activities near Taiwan and will appropriately dispatch forces in reaction to “enemy threats”.

Speculative reports suggest that China could respond with increased military power or even take the legal route. According to White House national security spokesperson John Kirby, Beijing’s responses could include firing missiles near Taiwan, large-scale air or naval activities, or further “spurious legal claims” such as China’s assertion that the Taiwan Strait is not an international waterway.

It is pertinent to note however that the Taiwan visit has not yet been officially confirmed by Pelosi and her team, or indeed any White House official.