Pelosi visit to Taiwan: As China goes into overdrive, US says don’t want crisis – but prepared to respond to Beijing


NSC (National Security Council) Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby

Washington: Amid heightened tension over US Speaker Nancy Pelosi‘s visit to Taiwan, the White House on Wednesday reiterated that her visit to Taipei is totally consistent with United States’ longstanding “one-China policy”. It said the US had been very clear that nothing had changed about its one-China policy.
Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan has irked China, which considers it part of its own territory, and has responded angrily. Beijing has also announced military drills and trade sanctions against Taipei which rolled out the red carpet for Pelosi. China has not stopped at this, it has reportedly warned that it will take control of air and water space to ensure there is no second Pelosi visit to Taiwan – in a clear indication that Beijing may consolidate its position around the island and ratchet up tensions with the US.
The White House has, however, sought to differentiate between the position of the government and the visit by Pelosi. Briefing the media on the visit, NSC (National Security Council) Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby on Wednesday said that this trip was the Speaker’s decision, and Congress is an independent branch of government. “Let me be clear: The Speaker’s visit is totally consistent with our longstanding One China policy. We’ve been very clear that nothing has changed about our One China policy, which is guided, of course, by the Taiwan Relations Act, the Three Joint U.S.-PRC Communiqués, and the Six Assurances,” he said.

Kirby also said that the US opposes any unilateral changes to the status quo from either side. “We said we do not support Taiwan’s independence. And we’ve said, as I said again yesterday, that we expect cross-Strait differences to be resolved by peaceful means…now, we have communicated this directly to the PRC at the highest levels, including in last week’s call between President Biden and President Xi,” he said.

On Beijing’s reactions, Kirby said the US has seen a number of announcements from China in just the last several hours “that are unfortunately right in line with what we had anticipated”. He said there was no reason for Beijing to turn this visit, which is consistent with longstanding U.S. policy, into some sort of crisis or use it as a pretext to increase aggressiveness and military activity in or around the Taiwan Strait, now or beyond her travel.

Kirby said China has positioned itself to take further steps, and the US expected that they would continue to react over a longer-term horizon. I couldn’t give you a date certain of what that horizon looks like, but we certainly would expect them to react even beyond her trip, including announcing additional large-scale, live-fire exercises — of course, they’ve already started doing some of that today; flying across the median line — we’ve seen press reports of them doing that today, and using economic coercion. It’s exactly in line with the playbook that we anticipated and talked to you about yesterday,” he said.

The US security official then said that Washington will not and does not want a crisis. “The United States will not and does not — will not seek and does not want a crisis. We are prepared to manage what Beijing chooses to do,” he said.

Today, Nancy Pelosi met Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen in Taipei. Pelosi said America has made a bedrock promise to always stand with Taiwan. “On this strong foundation, we have a thriving partnership grounded in self-government and self-determination focused on mutual security in the region and world committed to economic prosperity,” she said.

Tsai Ing-wen said she will firmly uphold her “nation’s sovereignty” and continue to hold the line of defence.

Air Raids And Missile Alert Taiwan Braces For Chinese Invasion As Nancy Pelosi Plans Visit
Air Raids And Missile Alert: Taiwan ‘Braces For Chinese Invasion’ As Nancy Pelosi Plans Visit