China / United States. Nancy Pelosi goes to Taiwan and challenges Beijing, which announces “targeted military action”

What you need to remember

  • US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi traveled to Taiwan on Tuesday, despite warnings and threats from Beijing, which views the visit as a serious provocation. The move risks inflaming already tense US-China relations.
  • Arriving on an American military plane in the evening, she was greeted by Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu, whose reports hailed American “unshakable” support.
  • Nancy Pelosi recalled America’s “unconditional support for Taiwan’s vibrant democracy”, believing that its presence was “in no way” contrary to the long-standing US policy towards China.
  • Meanwhile, the Chinese defense ministry has promised “targeted military action”. He announced a series of military maneuvers around the island that will begin on Wednesday, including “long-range live bullet shooting” in the Taiwan Strait.
  • Taiwanese authorities reported overnight that 21 Chinese military aircraft entered the island’s air defense identification zone (much wider than airspace).
  • Russia, for its part, considered that China had “the right to take the necessary measures to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity”.

11:50 pm: This live is over, thanks for watching.

22:00: Nancy Pelosi’s plane breaks the Flightradar24 record

The flight that took the President of the US House of Representatives to Taiwan was the most tracked in Flightradar24’s history, according to this flight tracking site. “SPAR19 (flight) was followed by over 708,000 people worldwide when it landed in Taipei,” the online service said in a statement.

After taking off from Kuala Lumpur, Nancy Pelosi’s military plane was already followed by more than 200,000 people during the flight over Indonesia, and this number “continued to grow as the plane approached Taiwan,” says the website. This “unprecedented and ongoing interest in this flight took a heavy toll on Flightradar24’s infrastructure,” the report continues. Her technical teams were mobilized, but “unfortunately, given the volume of users, it was necessary to set up our waiting room, which limits access times for non-subscribers”, explains the site. . The normal version was reinstalled shortly after the landing of the American politician.

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20:05: China has the right to take measures to protect its “sovereignty,” Moscow says

Russia said China has the right to take “the necessary measures to protect its sovereignty”, calling Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan an “obvious provocation”.

“The Chinese side has the right to take the necessary measures to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity regarding the Taiwan issue,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in detail.

7:54 pm: More than 20 Chinese military aircraft enter the Taiwan Air Defense Identification Zone

“21 Chinese military aircraft (…) entered the ADIZ (Air Defense Identification Zone, wider than airspace) in southwest Taiwan on August 2, 2022,” reads a Twitter statement from the ministry. of the Taiwanese Defense.

Photo Sipa / AP

Why is Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan so tense?

The arrival in Taiwan of Nancy Pelosi, president of the US House of Representatives, on Tuesday raised tensions between China and the United States.

>> Find our decryption of the situation by clicking here.

18:43: Maneuvers of American ships in the Taiwan region

The U.S. 7th Fleet tweeted that the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, which has been sailing in the region since early July, was in the Philippine Sea, south of Taiwan. The United States Navy released images of Ronald Reagan performing maneuvers with the supply ship USS Carl Brashear on Sunday. The aircraft carrier and its airborne group “perform a routine mission in the Western Pacific,” said a US official who requested anonymity.

Additionally, a Marine Corps amphibious ship, the USS Tripoli, was sailing east of Taiwan, according to the United States Naval Institute (USNI), an independent entity close to the US Navy. The Ronald Reagan and Tripoli are both next-generation F-35 fighter carriers, according to USNI. The Pentagon assured that the presence of these two ships in the region was not related to the visit of Nancy Pelosi.

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18:38: For Taipei, Pelosi’s visit shows US “unwavering” support for Taiwan

“We believe that President Pelosi’s visit … will strengthen close and friendly relations between Taiwan and the United States and further deepen global cooperation between the two sides in all fields,” the minister said. after the arrival of the American leader.

6:17 pm: Pelosi will meet the Taiwanese president on Wednesday

According to the Taiwanese newspaper Times of Freedomciting anonymous sources, the American leader will meet Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen this Wednesday, a pet peeve from Beijing because he comes from an independence party.

The Taiwanese Ministry of Defense said it was “determined” to protect the island from any attack.

17:45: In response, theChina announces “targeted military actions”

China announced that the military would launch “targeted military action”. The army operation aims to “resolutely support national sovereignty and territorial integrity and firmly counter external interference and separatist attempts at” Taiwan independence “,” said Wu Qian, spokesman for the Chinese Defense Ministry.

Most observers rate the likelihood of an armed conflict low. But US officials said they are preparing for force demonstrations by the Chinese military, such as launching missiles into the Taiwan Strait or air strikes around the island.

Why does this visit anger China?

China considers Taiwan, with a population of around 23 million, one of its provinces, which has yet to successfully reunify with the rest of its territory since the end of the Chinese civil war (1949). Against any initiative that gives Taiwanese authorities international legitimacy, Beijing is against any official contact between Taiwan and other countries. US officials and lawmakers regularly visit the island. But China considers Nancy Pelosi’s visit a great provocation.

Last week, in a telephone interview with US President Joe Biden, Chinese President Xi Jinping urged Americans not to “play with fire”. If the White House is embarrassed by the situation, John Kirby, her spokesperson, said on Monday that Nancy Pelosi had “the right to visit Taiwan”. The last speaker of the United States House of Representatives to visit Taiwan was Newt Gingrich in 1997.

17:13: Beijing denounces the “extremely dangerous” attitude of the United States

In response, China denounced the “extremely dangerous” attitude of the United States. “The United States (…) is trying to use Taiwan to contain China,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement, adding that Washington “continues to distort, obscure and empty the sense of the one China principle,” by intensifying its official exchanges with Taiwan and encouraging Taiwan’s separatist “independence” activities. These actions, like playing with fire, are extremely dangerous. “

4.45pm: Nancy Pelosi arrived in Taiwan

Despite threats from China, the head of US deputies, Nancy Pelosi, landed in Taiwan on Tuesday around 10:45 pm local time. She arrived at Songshan Airport on a US military plane.

The video broadcast live on television showed Nancy Pelosi, one of the highest figures in the US state, greeted on arrival by Joseph Wu, the Taiwanese foreign minister.

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The Democrat said on Twitter that her visit demonstrated “unconditional support” from the United States. “Our parliamentary delegation’s visit to Taiwan demonstrates America’s unconditional support for Taiwan’s vibrant democracy,” adding that it “in no way” contravenes long-standing US policy towards the Vis in China.

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>> All the details of Nancy Pelosi’s arrival in Taiwan in our post.

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