Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, is one of the most influential politicians in Washington.  EFE/EPA/JABIN BOTSFORD / POOL

possible visit to Taiwan of Nancy Pelosithe president of the House of Representatives and the third in the hierarchy of power in USAhas once again unleashed the fury of Chinathe Asian giant for which any approach to the island, which it considers a rebellious province that it seeks to eventually take under its wing, is considered an affront and an involvement in its internal politics.

Therefore, the warnings issued by Beijing have not been a surprise. Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Tan Kefei has already warned Washington that the Chinese Army “will not stand idly by” if the visit of the Democratic legislator takes place, and asked that the North American country respect “its promise that it will not support the independence of Taiwan.”

READ ALSO: Taiwan begins military exercises and drills with civilians for fear of an invasion by China

For his part, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian pointed out that “if the United States insists and challenges the basic positions of China”the asian country “will answer firmly”.

Although the visit of Pelosi It has not been made official and it has only been known by the press that it could take place in August, tempers have heated up again, especially hours before the telephone call that the president will have this Thursday Joe Biden and its counterpart Xi Jinpingin a context of tensions between both powers that are already open geopolitical and economic rivals.

Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, is one of the most influential politicians in Washington. EFE/EPA/JABIN BOTSFORD / POOL
/ JABIN BOTSFORD / POOL

In fact, Biden himself pointed out a few days ago that the Pentagon considered that Nancy Pelosi’s possible visit to Taiwan at the moment “is not a good idea”, despite the fact that in recent years several US legislators and politicians have visited the island. .

However, the scenario changes because Pelosi has significant political weight in the country and is, after the president and vice president, the person with the highest position in Washington.

Is this visit relevant?

“This message from Pelosi’s trip I don’t think is the most appropriate, that’s why it has bothered the Chinese a lot, because they consider Taiwan as an integral part of their territory”explains to El Comercio the international analyst and professor at the UPC, Francesco Tucci.

Although the United States has had diplomatic relations with Beijing since 1979, Washington has continued to maintain strong trade and military relations with Taiwan, which it considers a key ally in the Asia-Pacific. This includes a US commitment to help the island defend itself against possible intervention by mainland China.

China, for its part, has been preparing for years to recover the island, which has governed itself since 1949, has its own army and currency, but has seen its international influence decrease in recent decades, while Beijing has strengthened its economic and commercial power.

READ ALSO: China marks a major military milestone with the unveiling of its third most advanced aircraft carrier, the Fujian

“China has the goal of retaking control of Taiwan before or during the 100th anniversary of its victory in the Chinese revolution, and the horizon is the year 2049. China wants to win without a fight and they are doing it well because they are slowly moving the chips in the board”, Tucci adds.

The expert recalls that, not having a democratic regime, China sets its goals according to the decisions made by the Communist Party, which are carefully planned. “They have a coherent political action, they have a State policy that transcends governments. And the Taiwan issue is part of its state policy”.

The Taiwanese flag flies in the port of Yilan, Taiwan.  REUTERS/Ann Wang
The Taiwanese flag flies in the port of Yilan, Taiwan. REUTERS/Ann Wang / ANN WANG

“The Chinese are advancing in the area with great intelligence, because that way it will be easier for them to pressure Taiwan without using force, because they want to use weapons as a last resort, but they are still preparing for that scenario,” Tucci explains.

Therefore, they are drawing great lessons from the current Russian invasion of Ukraine, a conflict that remains bogged down. “If they do, it will be a blitzkrieg, something that will take a few days. They won’t make the mistake of the Russians if they play the force card.” projects.

China has boosted its military might in recent yearsand has created artificial islands in the South China Sea, in addition to strengthening ties with the island countries of the South Pacific, as a strategy to increase its influence and control.

READ ALSO: New friction between the US and China: will Taiwan become another focus of a war?

“The Chinese are testing Taiwan’s resistance and they know that without US support, Taiwan falls in no time. That is why the United States has been very upset about this agreement between China and the Solomon Islands, because Beijing is trying to cut off access to the American Seventh Fleet.Tucci points out.

A few weeks ago, the Chinese foreign minister made a long tour of several island territories in the South Pacific, setting off alarms in Washington and also in Australia. Although he did not manage to sign the agreements that he expected, it is an example of how his diplomacy continues to work.

“China is preparing the board. And the US should already make a series of decisions. All these defense associations, like the AUKUS, are small compared to the Chinese strategy. Washington should take a more assertive stance.” the analyst refers.

Military personnel guide local residents to shelter during the Wanan air raid drill, a civilian air raid drill held on the same day as the annual Han Kuang military exercises, in Taipei on July 25. 2022. (Photo by Sam Yeh / AFP)
Military personnel guide local residents to shelter during the Wanan air raid drill, a civilian air raid drill held on the same day as the annual Han Kuang military exercises, in Taipei on July 25. 2022. (Photo by Sam Yeh / AFP) / SAM YEH

taiwan prepares

From the archipelago, the Taiwanese are aware of Chinese aspirations and are reluctant to give up their autonomy. Although they have not officially declared their independence, the government of President Tsai Ing-wen is in favor of absolute sovereignty, but still prefers to maintain the status quo.

However, tensions in the area have not ceased and since last year hundreds of warplanes have flown over Taiwan’s defense airspace, called the Air Defense Identification Zone.

In 2021, Taiwan recorded a record 969 Chinese military air raids, according to data compiled by AFP, more than double the 380 in 2020.

Given this, the Taipei government began its largest annual military exercises on Monday in fear of a possible invasion from Beijing, in which they even involved civilians with drills in the streets of alleged air strikes.

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