Experts note that Pelosi’s plan to visit Taiwan increases the threat of a military conflict between the People’s Liberation Army of China and the US Armed Forces
It will be very difficult for Taiwan’s administration to refuse to receive Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, but if the visit takes place, the island’s authorities will have to ‘to bear the wrath of Beijing’, the leading Hong Kong newspaper South China Morning Post said on Thursday.
On the one hand, the newspaper notes, Pelosi’s visit to the island would show that Taipei has Washington’s support and boost the chances of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party to win the November midterm elections. But at the same time, the consequences of such a visit, which Beijing strongly warns against, would be an increase in China’s military pressure on the island.
“It would be extremely difficult for the government of President Tsai Ing-wen to decline Pelosi’s offer to visit, given [her position in US politics] and that she has long been known for her support for Taiwan,” Wang Kung-yi, director of the Taiwan International Strategic Study Society, said, “But if Pelosi does visit, the Tsai government will have to bear the wrath of Beijing, which has already threatened to take forceful measures [if it goes ahead],” he noted.
Another Taiwanese analyst, Chieh Chung, warned that Beijing would significantly ramp up military pressure on the island during Pelosi’s visit. In particular, the People’s Liberation Army of China, according to him, may send warships over the median line, Taiwan’s air defense identification zone across the midline of the strait separating the mainland and the islands. The People’s Liberation Army of China could also hold live-fire drills near Taiwan’s southern coast involving warships and attack drones.
Earlier, there were reports in the media that Pelosi, who occupies the third most important post in the US government hierarchy, intended to visit the island in August. It was noted that Pelosi had planned to visit Taiwan back in April, but postponed the trip because of the coronavirus. The visit would have been the first visit to the island by the speaker of the US House of Representatives in 25 years. Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zhao Lijian said Beijing would take drastic measures in case of the visit.
Experts note that Pelosi’s plan to visit Taiwan increases the threat of a military conflict between the People’s Liberation Army of China and the US Armed Forces. According to some analysts, the Chinese military may declare a no-fly zone and a restricted shipping zone under the pretext of military drills near the Taiwan Strait, which would force Pelosi’s plane to change its route if she still insists on visiting the island.