The Japan News by The Yomiuri Shimbun

China must not raise military tensions over Pelosi’s meeting with Tsai

U.S. House speaker’s Taiwan trip

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It is unreasonab­le for China to strengthen military pressure on Taiwan just because a key U.S. government o cial visited Taiwan. A unilateral military provocatio­n that heightens regional tensions can never be tolerated.

U.S. House of Representa­tives Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan and met with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen. e speaker of the House of Representa­tives is a key post, being second in line to succeed the president a er the vice president. It was the

rst time a U.S. House speaker has visited Taiwan since 1997, a span of 25 years.

“Now more than ever, America’s solidarity with Taiwan is crucial and that is the message we are bringing here today,” Pelosi said during the meeting with Tsai. “America’s determinat­ion to preserve democracy here in Taiwan and around the world remains ironclad,” Pelosi emphasized. Tsai also stressed the importance of close cooperatio­n between the United States and Taiwan.

Pelosi’s visit re ects a bipartisan perception in the U.S. Congress that Washington cannot just sit idly by amid circumstan­ces in which Beijing continues its military threats to Taipei with a view to a possible armed uni cation.

Beijing is pursuing the “China cation” of Hong Kong by force, breaking its internatio­nal promise to maintain the “one country, two systems” policy for 50 years a er the territory’s return to China. It is quite natural that Washington and Taipei share a sense of urgency that a similar situation could occur in Taiwan. e responsibi­lity for creating the growing tensions lies with China.

China has opposed Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, regarding the visit of a key U.S. government o cial as “interferen­ce in domestic a airs” based on its “One China” principle that China and Taiwan are one nation. Chinese President Xi Jinping also called for a halt to her visit to Taiwan during telephone talks with U.S. President Joe Biden.

Pelosi’s visit does not mean that the United States has changed its “One-China” policy. Pelosi might have judged that canceling her visit to Taiwan at this stage would have meant giving in China’s threats.

For Xi, Pelosi’s visit appeared to have caused him to lose face ahead of the Communist Party convention in autumn in which he hopes to establish a long-lasting regime. Although he does not want a headon collision with the United States, there is concern that he could raise the level of military action against Taiwan to defend his credibilit­y.

China’s Defense Ministry criticized Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan as a malicious provocatio­n and said it would respond with military operations.

On Aug. 2, more than 20 Chinese aircra , including ghter jets, entered Taiwan’s air defense identi cation zone. Cyber-attacks on a scale 200 times the normal amount were reportedly carried out on Taiwan’s presidenti­al o ce.

e Chinese military has warned that it will conduct live- re drills in the sea and air surroundin­g Taiwan, and there is a possibilit­y that it could re missiles around Taiwan. e U.S. military intends to send an aircra carrier and naval vessels to surroundin­g waters. e United States and China should communicat­e closely to avoid an accidental con ict.

e target area for the drills announced by China includes Japan’s exclusive economic zone. Military tensions in the Taiwan Strait have a serious impact on Japan’s security. e Japanese government should strongly urge China to exercise restraint.

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