On Tuesday, the US Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, touched down in Taipei, going ahead with her controversial visit despite protests and threats from Beijing. A foreign ministry spokesperson warned the “US side will bear the responsibility and pay the price for undermining China’s sovereign security interests”.
Although Washington officially recognises Beijing as the legitimate government under the ‘One China’ policy, the US has always cultivated a “robust” relationship and support of Taiwan.
In a statement issued following her touch-down in Taiwan, Ms Pelosi reiterated the US’ “unwavering commitment” to Taiwan.
She said: “America’s solidarity with the 23 million people of Taiwan is more important today than ever, as the world faces a choice between autocracy and democracy.”
China then bit back, saying the trip “seriously undermines China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, seriously undermines the political foundation of Sino-U.S. relations and sends a seriously wrong signal to the ‘Taiwan independence’ separatist forces”.
Before Ms Pelosi boarded her departing flight from Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday, Russia backed the rhetoric and actions of its allies in Beijing.
In recent years, Moscow has looked to solidify its relationship with Beijing, courting its support as the Ukraine war sees Russia’s relationship with the West take a dramatic turn for the worse.
Kremlin spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, denounced Ms Pelosi’s visit as “purely provocative” ahead of her arrival in Taipei.
Peskov told a media conference: “We cannot say for sure right now whether she will or will not get there, but everything about this tour and the possible visit to Taiwan is purely provocative.”
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She wrote: “Washington is bringing destabilisation to the world.
“Not a single settled conflict in recent decades, but many provoked ones.”
Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, previously told US President Biden to not “play with fire” over Taiwan.
Quoted in Chinese media, Xi reportedly told the US leader: “Those who play with fire will only get burnt.
“[We] hope the US side can see this clearly.”
The White House then said it told Beijing its stance on Taiwan had not changed, and that it valued peace in the region.
It said that Washington “strongly opposes unilateral efforts to change the status quo or undermine peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait” .