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US-China Tensions Over Taiwan
Tensions between China and the US have escalated following US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taipei in early August. China views Taiwan as part of its territory and says any country's interaction with Taipei is interference in China's internal affairs.

‘Taiwan Will Be Next’: Pelosi Trip Threatens to Make Trump’s Prophecy Come True

© AFP 2023 / BRENDAN SMIALOWSKIUS President Donald Trump (R) listens while presumptive Speaker, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) makes a statement to the press before a meeting at the White House December 11, 2018 in Washington, DC
US President Donald Trump (R) listens while presumptive Speaker, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) makes a statement to the press before a meeting at the White House December 11, 2018 in Washington, DC - Sputnik International, 1920, 01.08.2022
Now that it is all but confirmed that US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) will soon visit Taiwan in spite of all warnings by both Beijing and Washington, the deck seems stacked for the biggest showdown over the autonomous island since 1996. Could she accidentally prove her nemesis, former US President Donald Trump, right?
On Monday, the Taiwan-based publication China Times reported that Pelosi would land in Taiwan on the evening of August 2, citing diplomatic sources. However, the de facto Taiwanese foreign ministry has not yet confirmed the information. This comes after Pelosi refused to comment on the itinerary of her Asia tour, saying it was a “security issue.”
Ironically, Pelosi’s actions could wind up proving accurate the predictions of her arch-nemesis, former US President Donald Trump.
In an Oval Office discussion recounted by former White House national security adviser John Bolton in his 2020 memoir “The Room Where It Happened,” Trump and an unnamed Republican senator discussed whether or not the US could actually defend Taiwan from a Chinese attack.
“Taiwan is like two feet from China,” Trump said, pointing to his desk and a Sharpie marker on it. “We are 8,000 miles away. If they invade, there isn’t a f***ing thing we can do about it.”
Since Biden took office, Trump has sought to cast his own policies as superior to Biden’s, and in particular, claimed that his toughness prevented Russia from launching its special operation in Ukraine and China from launching any military action involving Taiwan. Since the Ukraine operation began in February, Trump has claimed that Taiwan “is gonna be next.”
In a phone conversation with professional golfer John Daly that was bizarrely held on speaker phone and recorded, Trump said that Democrats are “afraid” of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“You know, he was a friend of mine. I got along great with him. I say, ‘Vladimir, if you do it [the Ukraine neutralization operation], we’re hitting Moscow’… and he sort of believed me, like 5%, 10%, that's all you need,” Trump told the athlete.
“He never did it during my time, John, you know … Why didn’t he do this during the last four years? … Xi didn’t bother me either. I told him the same thing,” Trump said, adding: “Taiwan will be next. You won’t have any computer chips. They’ll blow them off the face of the earth.”

China’s PLA ‘Will Never Sit Idly By’

US President Joe Biden, the Pentagon, and the Chinese government in Beijing have all tried to deter Pelosi from going to Taiwan, an autonomous island off the coast of mainland China that the Chinese government considers being a Chinese province in rebellion. However, several Republicans have rallied behind her move. Washington’s informal support for the government in Taipei has long been a sore spot in US-China relations, but it’s gotten worse in recent years.
“We are closely following the itinerary of Speaker Pelosi,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian told reporters on Monday. “A visit to Taiwan by her would constitute a gross interference in China’s internal affairs, 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-US relations and lead to a very serious situation and grave consequences.”
“We want to once again make it clear to the US side that the Chinese side is fully prepared for any eventuality and that the People’s Liberation Army of China [PLA] will never sit idly by, and we will make resolute response and take strong countermeasures to uphold China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, What the US should do is to abide by the one-China principle and the stipulations of the three Sino-US joint communiqués, fulfill President Biden’s commitment of not supporting ‘Taiwan independence’ and not arrange for a visit by Speaker Pelosi to Taiwan,” Zhao added.
Last week, Chinese President Xi Jinping told Biden in a phone call that "One who plays with fire will certainly burn himself” - a warning Zhao reiterated on Monday.
The government in Taiwan is all that remains of the old Republic of China, which governed all of China from 1912 until 1949, when the communist Red Army won the civil war and established the People’s Republic of China on the mainland. Beijing has sought to reunite with Taiwan, incorporating it into the country in a “One Country, Two Systems” model similar to Hong Kong’s and Macau’s, that would slowly ease its transition from the capitalism it’s long had toward the socialism dominant on the mainland. Beijing hasn’t dismissed the possibility of making that reunion by force, but it’s made clear that if Taiwan declares independence, it will mean war. They have warned that US support for Taiwan only enflames and emboldens those tendencies in Taiwan.
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