Pelosi’s travel to Taiwan outweighs China’s military threats
There will be no more debate between the United States and China over whether or not House Speaker Nancy Pelosi should visit Taiwan on Tuesday.
As the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit Taiwan in decades, Pelosi’s controversial stay in Taipei implies that the Pentagon has reduced its assessment of a real Chinese military danger to the speaker’s safety.
Pelosi’s Taiwan travel has been vigorously criticised by Beijing, and lurid predictions of a serious Chinese response have been given. As China’s foreign ministry spokeswoman put it, “A visit to Taiwan by her would constitute gross interference in China’s internal affairs…and lead to a very serious situation and grave consequences,” Zhao Lijian said on Monday.
Both sides appear to have reached an agreement that will allow Pelosi’s Taiwan visit to go on while minimising the risk of miscalculations at this time of increased bilateral tensions. This is despite Pelosi’s inflammatory language. “I can assure you that she will travel freely and securely,” National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said on Monday without going into any detail.
A retired US Air Force Command Chief Master Sergeant and director of the Eisenhower Media Network said: “There’s no doubt in my mind that the military-to-military are having conversations … to make sure there’s no accident that could happen,”
Although they have not been confirmed, such bilateral military negotiations are expected to take place in conjunction with diplomatic outreach to ensure that Beijing has sufficient clarity about Pelosi’s visit to limit the likelihood of hazardous misunderstandings of American objectives.