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Nancy Pelosi

A U.S. delegation led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) meets with Singaporean leaders in Singapore on August 1, 2022. (Photo: Nancy Pelosi/Facebook)

Critics Call Pelosi's Confirmed Trip to Taiwan a 'Dangerous War Provocation'

"Taiwan is China. The U.N. says so. The U.S. and China have said so," noted one anti-imperialist author, adding that "Nancy Pelosi has gone full neocon" to violate the "One China" policy.

Brett Wilkins

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will visit Taiwan this week, U.S. and Taiwanese officials said Monday, despite warnings from China, the Biden administration, and anti-war campaigners.

"The chances of a military confrontation between China and the United States have spiked upward."

Although a stop on the island—which nearly the entire international community, including the United Nations and the U.S., consider part of China—is not on Pelosi's public itinerary, a senior Taiwanese official told CNN that the California Democrat is expected to stay overnight in Taiwan, where she will reportedly meet with officials including President Tsai Ing-wen.

At a Monday press conference in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said his government "has repeatedly made clear to the U.S. side our serious concern over Speaker Pelosi's potential visit to Taiwan and our firm opposition to the visit."

"Pelosi is the third highest-ranking official in the U.S. government, which means it would be highly sensitive for her to visit Taiwan no matter what," he continued, adding that such a trip constitutes "gross interference in China's internal affairs."

Zhao said the visit will also "seriously undermine China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, wantonly trample on the 'One China' principle, greatly threaten peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, severely undermine China-U.S. relations, and lead to a very serious situation and grave consequences."

"The People's Liberation Army of China will never sit idly by," he added ominously, "and we will make [a] resolute response and take strong countermeasures to uphold China's sovereignty and territorial integrity. As for what measures, if she dares to go, then let's wait and see."

In a Monday video commemorating the 95th birthday of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA), China's Eastern Theater Command vowed it is "always ready to fight" and would "bury any invading enemies."

During a Monday press conference, U.S. National Security Council strategic communications coordinator John Kirby said that Pelosi would be arriving in Taiwan on a military plane, while the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan and other American warships operate nearby.

Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense said Monday that four Chinese warplanes flew through the island's Air Defense Identification Zone.

Last week, Hu Xijin, a columnist for Chinese government-owned Global Times, suggested shooting down the plane transporting the House speaker as a last resort to prevent it from landing in Taiwan.

While U.S. President Joe Biden has said that Pentagon officials believe Pelosi's visit "is not a good idea right now," he has been criticized for not objecting more vocally to the trip.

Chinese President Xi Jinping reportedly told Biden during a lengthy phone conversation last Thursday that "those who play with fire will eventually get burned," while the American leader asserted that Congress is an independent branch of the U.S. government whose members make their own decisions. 

Anti-war voices continued to sound the alarm over a visit that numerous observers say increases the risk of a U.S.-China war.

"The PLA has repeatedly warned that their fighter jets are ready to follow, intercept, electronically interfere, force a landing, or drive Pelosi's plane back," noted author and Black Agenda Report journalist Danny Haiphong. "This is not a drill. Pelosi's trip to Taiwan is a dangerous war provocation."

Ariel Gold, executive director of the Fellowship of Reconciliation and former co-director of the peace group CodePink, lamented that "one would think that while already in the midst of a Cold War that could easily turn hot with nuclear Russia," it "would be prudent not to escalate within nuclear China, but unfortunately Pelosi doesn't feel this way."

RootsAction co-founder Norman Solomon wrote for Common Dreams Monday: "The arrogance of power is especially ominous and despicable when a government leader risks huge numbers of lives in order to make a provocative move on the world's geopolitical chessboard. Nancy Pelosi's plan to visit Taiwan is in that category. Thanks to her, the chances of a military confrontation between China and the United States have spiked upward."

"This is the kind of leadership," added Solomon, "that can get us all killed."

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