Photo Credit: Sam Yeh | Getty Images
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen and U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently met. Beijing’s severe disapproval of the arrangement established by the American diplomat was shown by Beijing’s warning communications following the visit.
Taiwan’s president expressed her delight at Pelosi’s visit and thanked her for her bravery in honoring democratic values. Tsai clarified that Taiwan is more than willing to cooperate with the U.S. government to safeguard its territories across the Taiwan Strait and the Indo-Pacific region.
A high-ranking U.S. official has not visited the country in 25 years. China was so irate by the move that it asserted that the country would increase military activities closer to Taiwan than before. Beijing continued by stating that Pelosi’s visit could be construed as meddling in Chinese domestic affairs.
China considers Taiwan to be part of its territory and has repeatedly warned Pelosi not to schedule the meeting.
President Tsai is delighted to see Pelosi
“Speaker Pelosi is truly one of Taiwan’s most devoted friends,” said President Tsai during a ceremony they held to bestow Pelosi with the “Order of Propitious Clouds with Special Grand Cordon.”
“We are truly grateful to you for making this visit to Taiwan to showcase the U.S. Congress’s staunch support for Taiwan,” Tsai added.
She also stated that Taiwan would keep and even fortify its economic ties with the United States, as well as its supply chain resilience with the Western giant.
During the ceremony, Pelosi stated her support for global peace and noted that she would strive to improve the United States’ economic relationship with Taiwan. “The story of Taiwan is an inspiration to freedom-loving people in the U.S. and around the world,” U.S. House Speaker Pelosi added.
“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.”
Pelosi said at a press conference that Taiwan’s neighboring countries should take the country as an example of democracy – in standing up to China, whose promise of “one country, two systems.”
The medal that Pelosi got is bestowed by Taiwanese law on Taiwanese who have rendered significant services to the country. In Pelosi’s case, the law also states that the award can be handed to “foreigners to promote diplomatic relationship.”
A mistake on the part of America
While the visit bolstered both countries’ esteem, several analysts believe it was a mistake. “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,” stated Stephen roach, one of the senior fellows studying at Yale University.
Meanwhile, former U.S. Ambassador to China Max Baucus admits that, like others, he thinks that Pelosi’s surprise visit is more detrimental to Taiwan. “Speaker Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan increases tensions, and unnecessarily,” said Baucus. “I think it’s dangerous. I think it’s reckless.”
Far from a war declaration, says analysts
Experts say that, despite China’s continued show of righteous indignation through increased military presence and activities, this is far from a declaration of war. “However, these PLA exercises are more performative signals than preparations for war; crisis is not yet basecase and the chance of kinetic conflict remains very low,” a senior analyst at the Eurasia Group said.
“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,” the analyst added.
“Future expressions of support for Taiwan by U.S. and allied officials — including visits, dialogues, and defense cooperation — are now likely to meet harsher responses.”
Biden has been ambiguous about whether the White House supports Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan.
Opinions expressed by US Insider contributors are their own.