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China, Russia warn US of possible Pelosi visit to Taiwan

China warned the United States on August 2 about the repercussions of a possible visit to Taiwan by the speaker of the American House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, during her Asian tour, assuring that they will have to assume the consequences. “The United States will certainly have the responsibility [des conséquences] and will have to pay the price for their attack on China’s sovereignty and security,” spokeswoman for Chinese diplomacy Hua Chunying told reporters.

Beijing considers the island to be an integral part of its territory and has repeatedly warned Washington against a visit by the senior Democratic official, which would be seen as a major provocation. On July 28, during a telephone conversation with the American president, Xi Jinping had already called on the United States not to “play with fire”. “As we see it, such a visit seems very dangerous and very provocative,” Chinese Ambassador to the United Nations Zhang Jun said at a press conference. “If this visit takes place, it will also weaken the relationship between China and the United States. I’m sure the United States understands that,” the diplomat said.

To support their message, the Chinese military broadcast on the Internet on August 1 a video with a martial tone showing soldiers ready for combat, fighters taking off or even a rain of missiles annihilating various targets, relayed by the Chinese Embassy. in France.

“Washington is destabilizing the world”, according to Russian diplomacy

In the wake of these warnings, Russia, an ally of China, has accused the United States of increasing global instability. “Washington is destabilizing the world. Not a single conflict settled in the last decades, but several provoked, ”said Russian diplomatic spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on her Telegram account. Everything related to […] a possible trip to Taiwan is a pure provocation,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, noting that the announcement of such a trip “aggravates the situation in the region and heightens tensions.” On July 29, the Kremlin said it was “in solidarity” with China, expressing its respect “for the sovereignty and territorial integrity” of its ally.

Nancy Pelosi was in Malaysia on August 2, where she met the prime minister and the speaker of the lower house of parliament on the second leg of an Asia trip that is sparking speculation about a potential visit to Taipei. After Singapore and Malaysia, her itinerary includes stops in South Korea and Japan, the persistent vagueness around a possible stop in Taiwan: local media have mentioned a landing of the Democrat on the evening of August 2.

If the White House was able to be embarrassed by the situation, John Kirby, its spokesperson affirmed on August 1 that Nancy Pelosi had “the right to visit Taiwan”, seeing no “reason for Beijing to make this visit , which is no exception to long-standing American doctrine, a form of crisis”. US officials have said they are preparing for possible shows of force from the Chinese military, such as missile strikes in the Taiwan Strait or massive air raids around the island. The speaker of the House of Representatives would be, if her visit is confirmed, the most senior American official to visit Taiwan since her predecessor Newt Gingrich in 1997.

The United States practices a so-called “strategic ambiguity” diplomacy with regard to Taiwan, consisting of recognizing only one Chinese government, that of Beijing, while continuing to provide decisive support to Taipei, through numerous arms sales. If Washington had so far refrained from clearly stating whether or not the United States would defend the island militarily in the event of an invasion, several statements by Joe Biden have caused confusion as to the maintenance of this line, since he has left hearing that the United States would retaliate if China decided to take military action against the island, before the White House downplayed its words.

In mid-April, Beijing had already strongly criticized the visit of an American parliamentary delegation to Taiwan, asking the Americans to abandon a “dangerous path”. At the beginning of June, the Chinese Ministry of Defense then assured that his country would “smash into a thousand pieces” any attempt at independence for the island and would not hesitate to start a war, “whatever the cost”. Similarly, the spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Defense said on July 8 that its army was “ready for war” to ensure the “unity of China”.

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