World: A richer, stronger China warns Pelosi not to visit Taiwan

Taiwan Conducts Air Raid Drills Amid China Tension, Potential Pelosi Visit

  Taiwan Conducts Air Raid Drills Amid China Tension, Potential Pelosi Visit While the Biden administration hasn't embraced the House speaker's visit to the self-governing island, Republicans have pressed for her to make the trip.The self-governing island on Monday kicked off its Han Kuang military exercises, an annual five-day event simulating an invasion by China. While Taiwan's drills were previously planned, Pelosi's possible visit comes amid heightened tensions with Beijing and has drawn strong reactions in both the U.S. and China.

BEIJING (AP) — Beijing grumbled but swallowed its irritation in 1997 when then-Speaker Newt Gingrich of the U.S. House of Representatives visited Taiwan, the island democracy claimed by the mainland’s ruling Communist Party as its own territory.

A Cheng Kung class frigate fires an anti air missile as part of a navy demonstration in Taiwan's annual Han Kuang exercises off the island's eastern coast near the city of Yilan, Taiwan on Tuesday, July 26, 2022. The Taiwanese capital Taipei staged a civil defense drill Monday and President Tsai Ing-wen on Tuesday attended the annual Han Kuang military exercises, although there was no direct connection with tensions over a possible visit by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.(AP Photo/Huizhong Wu) © Provided by Associated Press A Cheng Kung class frigate fires an anti air missile as part of a navy demonstration in Taiwan's annual Han Kuang exercises off the island's eastern coast near the city of Yilan, Taiwan on Tuesday, July 26, 2022. The Taiwanese capital Taipei staged a civil defense drill Monday and President Tsai Ing-wen on Tuesday attended the annual Han Kuang military exercises, although there was no direct connection with tensions over a possible visit by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.(AP Photo/Huizhong Wu)

China had other priorities. President Jiang Zemin’s government was preparing to celebrate Hong Kong’s return and wanted to lock in Beijing’s emergence from diplomatic isolation after its 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrations in Tiananmen Square. Gingrich, a booster of closer U.S.-Chinese ties, had just helped that campaign by meeting Jiang in Beijing. China avoided a disruptive clash with Washington.

Xi, Biden to speak as possible Pelosi Taiwan visit looms

  Xi, Biden to speak as possible Pelosi Taiwan visit looms BEIJING (AP) — U.S. President Joe Biden is planning to speak with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping for the first time in four months, with a wide range of bilateral and international issues on the table. But a potential visit to Taiwan by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is looming over the conversation set for Thursday, with China warning of a severe response if she travels to the self-governing island democracy Beijing claims as its own territory.

A quarter-century later, conditions have changed drastically. Chinese President Xi Jinping’s government is richer, more heavily armed and less willing to compromise over Taiwan following news reports the current speaker, Nancy Pelosi, might become the most senior U.S. official since Gingrich to visit the island.

FILE - Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., meets with reporters  at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, July 21, 2022.  In 1997, Beijing grumbled but swallowed its irritation when then-Speaker Newt Gingrich of the U.S. House of Representatives visited Taiwan.   A quarter-century later, news reports that Pelosi, might visit Taiwan, Beijing is warning of “forceful measures” including military action if she does.(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., meets with reporters at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, July 21, 2022. In 1997, Beijing grumbled but swallowed its irritation when then-Speaker Newt Gingrich of the U.S. House of Representatives visited Taiwan. A quarter-century later, news reports that Pelosi, might visit Taiwan, Beijing is warning of “forceful measures” including military action if she does.(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Beijing sees any official contact with Taiwan as recognition of its democratically elected government, which the mainland says has no right to conduct foreign relations.

Pelosi to Taiwan would be career capstone, despite warnings

  Pelosi to Taiwan would be career capstone, despite warnings WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi launched her political career being tough on China -- a new congresswoman who dared to unfurl a pro-democracy banner in Beijing's Tiananmen Square during a 1991 visit with other U.S. lawmakers shortly after the student massacre. More than 30 years later, her interest in traveling to Taiwan presents a powerful diplomatic capstone. It has also contributed to tensions at the highest levels in Washington and Beijing among officials who worry a trip could prove provocative. As the U.S. balances its high-stakes relations with China, whether Pelosi will lead a delegation trip to Taiwan remains unknown.

The timing adds to political pressure. Xi is widely expected to try to award himself a third five-year term as party leader at a meeting in the autumn. That could be undercut if rivals can accuse Xi of failing to be tough enough in the face of what they consider American provocation.

A P3C anti-submarine plane flies past the radar tower of a Taiwanese Keelung class destroyer during a patrol as part of the island's annual Han Kuang exercise off the island's eastern coast near the city of Yilan, Taiwan on Tuesday, July 26, 2022. The Taiwanese capital Taipei staged a civil defense drill Monday and Tsai on Tuesday attended the annual Han Kuang military exercises, although there was no direct connection with tensions over a possible Pelosi visit. (AP Photo/Huizhong Wu) © Provided by Associated Press A P3C anti-submarine plane flies past the radar tower of a Taiwanese Keelung class destroyer during a patrol as part of the island's annual Han Kuang exercise off the island's eastern coast near the city of Yilan, Taiwan on Tuesday, July 26, 2022. The Taiwanese capital Taipei staged a civil defense drill Monday and Tsai on Tuesday attended the annual Han Kuang military exercises, although there was no direct connection with tensions over a possible Pelosi visit. (AP Photo/Huizhong Wu)

Pelosi has yet to confirm whether she might visit, but Beijing is warning of “forceful measures” including military action if she does.

Blinken acknowledges ‘prospect for conflict’ with China over Taiwan

  Blinken acknowledges ‘prospect for conflict’ with China over Taiwan A looming showdown over House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s potential visit to Taiwan could test the ability of U.S. and Chinese officials to mitigate the risk of war. “We have many differences when it comes to Taiwan,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters Friday. "It would be important as part of our shared responsibility to continue to manage this in a wise way that doesn't create the prospect for conflict.”Chinese officials have issued a series of heated warnings against a visit by Pelosi, adding public pressure on an internal U.S.

The United States “must not arrange for Pelosi to visit Taiwan,” a Chinese Ministry of Defense spokesman, Tan Kefei, said Tuesday.

“If the United States goes ahead with this, the Chinese military will never watch and do nothing,” Tan said. “It will take strong measures to thwart any external interference and separatist plans for ‘Taiwan independence’ and resolutely defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

Tan referred to Pelosi as “No. 3 in the U.S. government,” after her place in the line of succession to become president. That suggests Beijing sees her as President Joe Biden's subordinate, instead of his equal as head of one of three independent branches of the government.

FILE - In this Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021, file photo, a woman holds up Taiwan national flags during National Day celebrations in front of the Presidential Building in Taipei, Taiwan.  In 1997, Beijing grumbled but swallowed its irritation when then-Speaker Newt Gingrich of the U.S. House of Representatives visited Taiwan.   A quarter-century later, news reports that the current speaker, Nancy Pelosi, might visit Taiwan, Beijing is warning of “forceful measures” including military action if she does.(AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021, file photo, a woman holds up Taiwan national flags during National Day celebrations in front of the Presidential Building in Taipei, Taiwan. In 1997, Beijing grumbled but swallowed its irritation when then-Speaker Newt Gingrich of the U.S. House of Representatives visited Taiwan. A quarter-century later, news reports that the current speaker, Nancy Pelosi, might visit Taiwan, Beijing is warning of “forceful measures” including military action if she does.(AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying, File)

Biden told reporters the American military thinks a visit is “not a good idea right now." But, possibly in deference to her position, the president hasn't said Pelosi shouldn't go. U.S. officials told The Associated Press that if Pelosi goes, the American military would likely use fighter jets, ships and other forces to provide protection for her flight.

Pelosi confirms trip to Asia, but no mention of Taiwan

  Pelosi confirms trip to Asia, but no mention of Taiwan BEIJNG (AP) — The speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, confirmed Sunday she will visit four Asian countries this week but made no mention of a possible stop in Taiwan that has riled Beijing, which claims the island democracy as its own territory. Pelosi said in a statement she is leading a congressional delegation to Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan to discuss trade, the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, security and “democratic governance.” Pelosi has yet to confirm news reports that she might visit Taiwan.

FILE - U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, right, speaks with Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui at a meeting in Lee's office in Taipei Wednesday, April 2, 1997.   In 1997, Beijing grumbled but swallowed its irritation when  Gingrich  visited Taiwan.   A quarter-century later, news reports that the current speaker, Nancy Pelosi, might visit Taiwan, Beijing is warning of “forceful measures” including military action if she does.(AP Photo/Eddie Shih, Pool, File © Provided by Associated Press FILE - U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, right, speaks with Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui at a meeting in Lee's office in Taipei Wednesday, April 2, 1997. In 1997, Beijing grumbled but swallowed its irritation when Gingrich visited Taiwan. A quarter-century later, news reports that the current speaker, Nancy Pelosi, might visit Taiwan, Beijing is warning of “forceful measures” including military action if she does.(AP Photo/Eddie Shih, Pool, File

Chinese rhetoric about that is "quite disturbing,” the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. “If we’re asked, we’ll do what is necessary in order to ensure a safe visit.”


Video: Pelosi considers visit to Taiwan, China warns they will take 'forceful measures' (NBC News)

U.S. officials have said the administration doubts China would take direct action against Pelosi herself or try to sabotage the visit. But they don’t rule out the possibility that China could escalate provocative flights of military aircraft in or near Taiwanese airspace and naval patrols in the Taiwan Strait should the trip take place. And they don’t preclude Chinese actions elsewhere in the region as a show of strength.

Is Pelosi's visit to Taiwan a risk? Yes, but she can deliver strong messages to China.

  Is Pelosi's visit to Taiwan a risk? Yes, but she can deliver strong messages to China. Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan may raise tensions with China. But it also could be an opportunity for her to deliver clear messages about U.S. policy.With all the buzz over Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan, however, we are failing to focus on an equally important issue: What she could usefully say and do while there to bolster U.S. interests and set the tone for greater stability in the region.

FILE - A U.S. jet fighter is about to land on the deck of aircraft carrier USS Independence as tens of fighter planes conduct practice in the public waters near the Straits of Taiwan Wednesday, March 13, 1996. In 1997, Beijing grumbled but swallowed its irritation when then-Speaker Newt Gingrich of the U.S. House of Representatives visited Taiwan.   A quarter-century later, news reports that the current speaker, Nancy Pelosi, might visit Taiwan, Beijing is warning of “forceful measures” including military action if she does. (AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - A U.S. jet fighter is about to land on the deck of aircraft carrier USS Independence as tens of fighter planes conduct practice in the public waters near the Straits of Taiwan Wednesday, March 13, 1996. In 1997, Beijing grumbled but swallowed its irritation when then-Speaker Newt Gingrich of the U.S. House of Representatives visited Taiwan. A quarter-century later, news reports that the current speaker, Nancy Pelosi, might visit Taiwan, Beijing is warning of “forceful measures” including military action if she does. (AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye, File)

Taiwan and China split in 1949 after a civil war that ended with a communist victory on the mainland. Both governments say they are one country but disagree about which is the national leader. The two sides have no official relations but are connected by billions of dollars of trade and investment.

The United States switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979 but has extensive commercial and unofficial ties with the island. U.S. law obligates Washington to make sure Taiwan has the means to defend itself.

Beijing hasn’t hesitated to try to intimidate Taiwan with shows of force.

The ruling party’s military, the People’s Liberation Army, fired missiles into the sea near Taiwan to drive voters away from then-President Lee Teng-hui in the island’s first direct presidential election in early 1996. That backfired by allowing Lee to talk tough about standing up to Beijing in front of cheering supporters. He was elected with 54% of the vote in a four-way race.

Nancy Pelosi's Taiwan Visit: Chinese Military to Conduct Drills Around Taiwan

  Nancy Pelosi's Taiwan Visit: Chinese Military to Conduct Drills Around Taiwan The White House warns China not to use the trip as a "pretext to increase aggressive military activity" near Taiwan.Before arriving in Taiwan, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stopped in Malaysia.

The U.S. responded by dispatching two aircraft carrier battle groups to the area, a move that forced China to acknowledge it couldn’t stop Washington from coming to Taiwan’s aid, which helped propel Beijing’s massive military upgrading in the years since.

The following year, Gingrich led a delegation of American lawmakers to Taiwan following a three-day visit to the mainland. That followed a visit to Beijing the previous week by Vice President Al Gore.

Previously one of Beijing’s fiercest critics in Washington on human rights and Taiwan, Gingrich praised China’s economic development. He talked sympathetically about the challenges Beijing would face running Hong Kong after 150 years of British rule. He said Congress supported China’s claim to Taiwan so long as unification was peaceful. He expressed hope the two sides might evolve to become one state.

Gingrich said he told Chinese leaders that “we will defend Taiwan” but said they responded that Beijing had no intention of attacking.

After Gingrich's comments, China’s foreign ministry said it was confused about U.S. policy. “What the U.S. government and the leaders of some government branches say and what they promised are not the same,” a ministry spokesman, Shen Guofang, said at the time.

In the quarter-century since then, Beijing's stance toward Taiwan has hardened and its military resources have grown. And the mainland has warned it will invade if talks on uniting the two sides fail to make progress.

China passed Germany and Japan to become the second-largest economy behind the United States. Its military spending also is No. 2 after Washington at $293 billion in 2021 following a 27-year string of increases, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

The political landscape also has been changed by the rise of Xi, who has amassed more power over the past decade than any Chinese leader since at least the 1980s and wants to be seen as restoring the country to its historic greatness. That includes being more assertive abroad and stepping up pressure on Taiwan.

Analysis-China's sharper focus on military option for Taiwan raises risks with U.S

  Analysis-China's sharper focus on military option for Taiwan raises risks with U.S Analysis-China's sharper focus on military option for Taiwan raises risks with U.SBEIJING (Reuters) - As the dust settles from China's military exercises around Taiwan, the message is clear: the military will uphold China's claim on the island in a challenge to the United States that will keep tension high and ramp up the risk of confrontation.

The ruling party has spent hundreds of billions of dollars to develop fighter planes, submarines, an aircraft carrier and other high-tech weapons. It is working on “carrier killer” missiles that are believed to be meant to block the U.S. Navy from defending Taiwan in the event of an attack. The PLA sends growing numbers of fighters and bombers to fly near Taiwan.

Beijing's bigger economy and global role also give it more diplomatic tools to show its anger to Washington. The Biden administration wants Chinese cooperation on climate, fighting the coronavirus and other global challenges, all of which Beijing could disrupt.

Washington and Beijing already are mired in conflicts over trade, Hong Kong, Beijing's treatment of Muslim minorities and Chinese claims to large sections of the South China and East China Seas.

Pelosi is hardly new to irking Beijing. As a rookie member of Congress in 1991, she unfurled a black-and-white banner on Tiananmen Square that said, “To those who died for democracy.” This came two years after the bloody crackdown in which hundreds, perhaps thousands were killed. Diplomatic protocol prevented Chinese police from detaining Pelosi.

A visit to Taiwan could cause long-term harm to U.S.-Chinese relations, said Liu Jiangyong, an international relations specialist at Tsinghua University.

Allowing a visit to go ahead “will affect the credibility of recent promises the Biden administration has made,” Liu said. Dialogue between Biden and Xi about other issues “may all be seriously affected.”

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AP researcher Yu Bing in Beijing and AP Writers David Rising in Bangkok and Lolita C. Baldor in Sydney contributed.

Analysis-China's sharper focus on military option for Taiwan raises risks with U.S .
Analysis-China's sharper focus on military option for Taiwan raises risks with U.SBEIJING (Reuters) - As the dust settles from China's military exercises around Taiwan, the message is clear: the military will uphold China's claim on the island in a challenge to the United States that will keep tension high and ramp up the risk of confrontation.

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