- Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, arrived in Malaysia on Tuesday as part of her Asia tour.
- It is not yet clear whether the politician will also travel to Taiwan despite China’s warning.
- There has been speculation in recent days that the third-ranked American is unlikely to travel to Taiwan.
Ahead of US President Nancy Pelosi’s expected visit to Taipei on Tuesday, Taiwan’s military has increased its combat readiness to counter threats from China.
A US Air Force plane carrying Pelosi left the capital, Kuala Lumpur, for Malaysia on Tuesday morning. This is reported by flight tracking website FlyRadar24 and Reuters witnesses. According to Reuters, it was not yet clear whether Pelosi or her representatives were on the plane.
Beijing has threatened the US with consequences over the issue. “Those who play with fire will perish,” Chinese President Xi Jinping warned US President Joe Biden by phone last Thursday.
Taiwan’s military boosts combat readiness
Taiwan’s military has increased its combat readiness ahead of Nancy Pelosi’s expected visit to Taiwan on Tuesday. CNA news agency quoted a source as saying the order was issued in response to threats posed by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army and its maneuvers with target practice.
It remains unclear whether China’s maneuvers, military moves, maritime closures and sudden flight schedule changes are directly related to Pelosi’s potential visit.
According to CNA, heightened alertness was ordered until noon on Thursday. However, in a two-stage alarm system, this is still not a classification for “emergency” but rather “normal operational readiness”.
In the eyes of the Chinese leadership, Taiwan is part of the People’s Republic of China, although it was governed independently before its establishment in 1949. That is why Beijing refers to its “one China doctrine” and firmly rejects official contacts with the government in Taipei from other countries.
The White House has warned Beijing that it will expand. “There is no reason for Beijing to turn a potential visit into a crisis or conflict in line with long-standing US policy,” said John Kirby, director of communications for the Security Council. America will not engage in “saber rattling”. At the same time, America is not afraid.
Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan will be historic
The visit by the third-highest-ranking American is the highest-ranking US visit to Taipei in decades. Pelosi may arrive in Taipei from Malaysia on Tuesday evening local time, a Taiwanese MP said. One person confirmed the news to a German press agency.
Democratic Taiwan is not on the official itinerary, which includes Singapore and Malaysia, South Korea and Japan. But Beijing fears Pelosi may ignore Chinese warnings. US Democrats have long planned to visit Taiwan to take a stand against China’s threats.
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