Will Pelosi Go to Taiwan?
July 30, 2022 (EIRNS)—House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is on her way to Asia but did not reveal yesterday what her plans for Taiwan are, in the face of Chinese threats to “escort” her aircraft and prevent it from landing in Taipei. Politico, citing three people familiar with her travel plans, reported yesterday that the Pentagon is moving ahead with preparations anyway.
U.S. defense officials are reported to be increasingly concerned that China would see a Congressional delegation to Taiwan, escorted by military aircraft, as an invasion. That rhetoric escalated July 29 when Global Times commentator Hu Xijin threatened that China’s military could down the Speaker’s plane, Politico reports further. “If U.S. fighter jets escort Pelosi’s plane into Taiwan, it is an invasion,” Hu wrote on a Twitter entry which has since been removed. “The [Chinese military] has the right to forcibly dispel Pelosi’s plane and the U.S. fighter jets, including firing warning shots and making tactical movement of obstruction. If ineffective, then shoot them down.”
The Biden administration has reportedly conveyed the risks to Pelosi in private in recent weeks, including a plea to postpone her trip to later this year. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters yesterday that there is no sign, however, of looming Chinese military activity against Taiwan. “[We’ve] seen no physical, tangible indications of anything untoward with respect to Taiwan,” he said.
While Pelosi remained tight lipped about a possible stop in Taipei, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Gregory Meeks, who is accompanying her on the trip, played the tough guy. “We can’t be bullied by anyone,” Meeks said. “I don’t pay any attention to that.”
“Xi and China—they better start worrying about their own human rights violations, what they’re doing with the Uyghurs, and trying to figure out how they can play on the world stage with everybody on the same stage,” added Meeks, referencing China’s alleged genocide of Uyghur Muslims.