Photo Credit: Sam Yeh | Getty Images
President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan and U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi met a few weeks ago. Due to Beijing’s intense disapproval of the arrangement established by the American envoy, warning messages were sent after the visit.
The President of Taiwan expressed her pleasure at Pelosi’s visit and applauded her for standing up for democracy with such courage. Furthermore, Tsai declared that Taiwan is more than prepared to collaborate with the U.S. administration in order to secure their respective lands over the Taiwan Straits and the Indo-Pacific area.
It has been 25 years Since the very last time a senior U.S. official visited the country. China was so enraged by the event that it announced that military exercises would be conducted even closer to Taiwan than before. Beijing went on to say that Pelosi’s visit might be viewed as meddling in China’s internal affairs.
Chinese officials repeatedly warned Pelosi not to make the appointment because they believed Taiwan belonged to their country.
What the Taiwanese President think of Pelosi
During a ceremony honoring Pelosi with the “Order of Propitious Clouds with Special Grand Cordon,” Tsai said, “Speaker Pelosi is truly one of Taiwan’s most devoted friends.”
“We are truly grateful to you for making this visit to Taiwan to showcase the U.S. Congress’s staunch support for Taiwan,” President Tsai said. She further pledged that Taiwan would preserve and even enhance its economic relations with the U.S. and increase the strength of its supply chains with Western power.
During the ceremony, Pelosi declared her support for world peace and promised to find new ways to enhance U.S. trade relations with Taiwan. “The story of Taiwan is an inspiration to freedom-loving people in the U.S. and around the world,” the U.S. House Speaker said.
“Out of the crucible of challenge, you have forged a flourishing democracy, one of the freest in the world, proudly led by a woman president.”
In a media briefing, Pelosi argued that neighboring countries of Taiwan should use the land as an example of a democracy brave enough to stand up to China, whose promise of “one country, two systems” was disregarded.
The medal Pelosi received is granted to Taiwanese who have made significant contributions to the nation under the terms of Taiwanese law. According to the law, Pelosi’s award may also be granted to “foreigners to promote diplomatic relationship.”
What experts believe is a huge mistake on America’s part
The visit increased both countries’ morale, but some analysts believe it may have been a mistake. Stephen Roach, a senior fellow at Yale University, said, “Conflict is escalating, and it is escalating at a rapid rate. China will not take any reckless steps … [but] this type of confrontation could spark a most unfortunate accident.”
Former U.S. ambassador to China, Max Baucus, corroborates with others who believe the visit might be more harmful than helpful. “Speaker Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan increases tensions, and unnecessarily,” stated Baucus. “I think it’s dangerous. I think it’s reckless.”
Experts believe that China will not declare war at this point
Experts believe that this is far from a declaration of war despite China’s ongoing display of fury through increased military presence and activity near Taiwan. “However, these PLA exercises are more performative signals than preparations for war; the crisis is not yet a base case, and the chance of kinetic conflict remains very low,” said a senior analyst at the Eurasia Group.
“The PLA did not interfere with Pelosi’s flight to Taiwan and says its planned exercises are meant as a ‘serious deterrent’ to the U.S. and a ‘serious warning’ to Taiwan,” added the analyst.
“Future expressions of support for Taiwan by the U.S. and allied officials — including visits, dialogues, and defense cooperation — are now likely to meet harsher responses.”
Regarding the White House’s position on Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan, Biden has been much vague on the matter.