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PoliticsWorldAs China warns US of consequences of Pelosi visit to Taiwan, Washington...

As China warns US of consequences of Pelosi visit to Taiwan, Washington flexes muscles too

China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA), the world’s largest but untested military, today celebrated its 95th anniversary, flexing its muscles to deter US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s purported plan to visit Taiwan, an idea she has reportedly dropped. Pelosi confirmed on Sunday she will lead a congressional delegation to Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and but was conspicuously silent about a possible stopover at Taiwan, the self-governing island that claims to be the real China since the escape of communist Mao Zedong's nationalist rival Chiang Kai-shek.

After President of China Xi Jinping issued a stern warning on 28 July over the phone to his US counterpart Joe Biden, asserting that "those who play with will perish by it," foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said that China would like to warn the US again that the "People’s Liberation Army (PLA) will never sit by idly" if the US diplomat visits Taiwan.

Coinciding with its 95th Army Day celebrations today, the two-million-strong PLA — which has never been tested in a war since the late 1960s — highlighted some of its latest achievements in weaponry and equipment development and realistic combat preparations to warn "Taiwan independence" secessionist and external interfering forces.

Meanwhile, a US strike group headed by the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan is reportedly approaching Taiwanese waters, the semi-official monitoring group Strategic Situation Probing Initiative (SCSPI) reported today.

Pelosi made her first stop in Singapore earlier in the day. Media reports have earlier claimed that Pelosi could make an unannounced visit to the self-governed island of Taiwan as part of her tour. China had described the alleged plan as highly provocative and threatened the US with "unbearable consequences" if she decides to visit the island.

According to SCSPI, the strike group, consisting of the USS Ronald Reagan, two other navy ships and Carrier Air Wing Five, consisting of F/A-18 fighters, helicopters and a surveillance aircraft, may currently be located some 800 km from Taiwan’s south-eastern shores. 

It bypassed Luzon, the main island in the Philippines and kept heading north towards Taiwan, the monitor group said.

Possible location of Ronald Reagan CSG on August 1, and its entire tracks from July 1 to Aug 1. https://t.co/TVaaojjDD5 pic.twitter.com/ejef5AlJWx

— SCS Probing Initiative (@SCS_PI) August 1, 2022

Last week, unnamed American officials told AP that the US military has been working on a “contingency plan” for its forces in the Pacific region to create “overlapping rings of protection” for the speaker during her possible to Taiwan and her stay there due to the possibility of incidents relating to China’s actions. AP also noted that the US had enough forces spread around the Pacific region, and the Pentagon might eventually use them for additional protection during the alleged trip. The news agency specifically named the US aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan and its strike group.

Pelosi announced yesterday that, besides Singapore, she was planning to visit Malaysia, South Korea and as part of her Asian tour, with Taiwan being absent from the list.

Nancy Pelosi to visit Taiwan, local media say, despite China warnings |  Deccan Herald

Nancy Pelosi may visit Taiwan, ignoring the warning

However, the state-run paper the Global Times suggested on Sunday that it was “still possible that Pelosi wants to make a risky and dangerous move by trying to land at a Taiwan airport with emergency excuses like an aircraft fault or refuelling.”

Sources told Taiwanese broadcaster TVBS that the US House Speaker could land on the island on Tuesday, with reservations for her delegation allegedly having already been made at a five-star hotel.

Taiwan has been self-governed since 1949, but never officially declared independence from China, with Beijing considering it a part of its territory under the One China policy.

Despite claiming that it respects the One China policy, maintains strong unofficial ties with the island of 23.5 million, selling weapons to Taipei and backing its push for parting ways with Beijing.

China has long been angered by those contacts, saying that they infringe on its sovereignty and only escalate tensions in the region. If Pelosi does land in Taiwan, she’ll become the most high-ranking American official since then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich visited the island in 1997.

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Surajit Dasgupta
Surajit Dasguptahttp://''
Co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sirf News Surajit Dasgupta has been a science correspondent in The Statesman, senior editor in The Pioneer, special correspondent in Money Life, the first national affairs editor of Swarajya, executive editor of Hindusthan Samachar and desk head of MyNation

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