China has urged House Speaker Kevin McCarthy not to visit Taiwan as an ex-PLA colonel warned of retaliation. Beijing sees Taiwan as part of China and last time a Speaker of the House visited the democratically-run island the Chinese military responded with massive live-fire military drills, sending tensions soaring.
Newly-elected Speak of the House of Representatives Kevin McCarthy has previously said he would visit the island and the Pentagon is said to be drawing up plans for that eventuality.
However, China has warned against visits to Taiwan by “certain individuals”, likely a pointed message to the Speaker.
“We urge certain individuals in the US to earnestly abide by the one-China principle,” Foreign Ministry Mao Ning told a regular news briefing Monday.
She added that they should “stop doing anything that violates the basic norms in international relations”.
China would “definitely” retaliate with military measures, said Yue Gang, a retired colonel from the People’s Liberation Army.
However, the colonel claimed any response from Beijing might be less severe than last year when Nancy Pelosi visited.
“It might not even be half of the level when Pelosi visited. The message we delivered [last time] was strong enough, [this kind of visit] could not change the status of the Taiwan Strait,” Gang told the South China Morning Post.
When Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan in 2022, Beijing responded with huge live fire military exercises around the island and mass armoured vehicles across the Taiwan straight.
A retired PLA instructor said that the Chinese military would be ready for any visit and would likely respond with exercises.
“If McCarthy is coming, targeted military drills must be held as needed to let the other side know that the People’s Liberation Army has been preparing for a military struggle against Taiwan,” he said to the paper.
At the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949, nationalist forces defeated by Mao Zedong’s communists retreated to the island, starting the split.
Since then, democratically run Taiwan has walked a tightrope with communist Beijing, arming itself for defence but never fully declaring independence.
Most countries, including the US under a One China policy, don’t recognise Taiwan as an independent country. However, the US has provided Taiwan the means to defend itself against a Chinese invasion and maintains a policy of strategic ambiguity when it comes to aiding in the island’s defence.
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This policy means that the United States is opaque over whether it would come to Taiwan’s aid if it were ever attacked by China.
Joe Biden has broken with this policy claiming that the US would indeed come to Taiwan’s defence, however Biden’s aides have downplayed his remarks.
Beijing, although it says it prefers a negotiated solution to reunification, has refused to rule out taking the island by force as an option.
Although Joe Biden and Xi Jinping are thought to have a cordial rapport, stemming from their time as second in command of their respective countries, tensions have continued to rise over Taiwan.
*This story has not been edited by The Infallible staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.