China makes moves as Pelosi-Taiwan story takes a turn

Tensions in the Taiwan Strait have escalated ahead of a possible visit from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) with the start of live-fire naval exercises conducted by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), the military arm of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and a U.S. strike group heading for the South China Sea.

The show of force from the CCP comes after several warnings of severe consequences from China should Pelosi visit Taiwan as part of her tour of Japan, Malaysia, and other allied Asian countries.

Should Pelosi include Taiwan among her destinations, she would represent the highest-ranking elected U.S. official to visit the contested island since 1997 — a move China says would violate the One China Policy and would have dire ramifications.

To punctuate the warning, the PLA reportedly began on Saturday firing MLRS (multiple launch rocket system) rockets in China’s Fujian province, pointed in the direction of Taiwan.

The exercises took place near the Pingtan islands, off Fujian province, according to the official Xinhua News Agency and The Maritime Safety Administration warned vessels to stay clear of the area as flares and tracer rounds lit up the sea.

Meanwhile, as American Wire reported, the USS Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group has been redeployed to the South China Sea after a five-day stop in Singapore, as part of what the strike group says is  “normal, scheduled operations as part of her routine patrol in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific.”

The rhetoric surrounding Pelosi’s trip to Asia will further escalate an already heated situation, according to Steve Tsang, director of the SOAS China Institute at the University of London.

“By increasing that kind of rhetoric, they are putting themselves in a situation that when Pelosi visits Taiwan, the Chinese military may have to take some actions which will require the Americans to respond, and that puts it on an escalatory path that nobody wants,” he said in a report from “It’s not in anyone’s interests.”

According to Tsang, Pelosi should have never planned to visit Taiwan, as such a trip does little for U.S.-Taiwan relations.

“But now that she has said that she was going to go or indicate that she would go and the Chinese government has come out blackmailing the United States, it becomes very difficult for the United States government to back off under Chinese pressure, because doing so will create a moral hazard,” he said. “So she may well end up having to go.”

Whether Pelosi will make the potentially explosive stop in Taiwan remains to be seen.

In a call with President Biden on Thursday, Chinese President Xi Jinping warned Biden not to “play with fire” when it comes to Taiwan, Fox News reports.

“Those who play with fire will perish by it,” Xi stated. “It is hoped that the U.S. will be clear-eyed about this.”

It is possible Pelosi got the message.

In a late night Saturday thread, the House Speaker tweeted out details of her trip to the region, and Taiwan was conspicuously missing from the itinerary.

“I’m leading a Congressional delegation to the Indo-Pacific to reaffirm America’s unshakeable commitment to our allies & friends in the region,” she stated. “In Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea & Japan, we’ll hold high-level meetings to discuss how we can further our shared interests & values.”

“Under the strong leadership of President Biden, America is firmly committed to smart, strategic engagement in the region, understanding that a free and flourishing Indo-Pacific is crucial to prosperity in our nation and around the globe,” she stated.


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Melissa Fine


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