Repercussions from US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) controversial and highly publicized visit to Taiwan on Tuesday are being felt by countries and businesses around the world as they increase tensions amid the prospect of world war.
China issued multiple warnings in the weeks leading up to Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, which the communist country strongly condemned.
Last week, Chinese President Xi Jinping US President Joe Biden warned during a historic two-hour phone call that “those who play with fire will only get burned,” referring to potential US support for the island’s independence.
Although the House Speaker’s trip to Taiwan lasted less than a day, it provoked strong reactions from countries around the world that understood the geopolitical impact of having one of the highest-ranking US officials visit the island and promise that his support to taiwan democracy remained “armored”.
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Pelosi reiterated her commitment during her visit to japan on Thursday, where he stated during a news conference at the US Embassy in Tokyo that China “may try to prevent Taiwan from visiting or engaging elsewhere,” but that it “would not isolate Taiwan by preventing us from traveling there.”
“We will not allow them to isolate Taiwan,” he stressed.
On Friday, a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China published a statement announcing sanctions on House Speaker Pelosi.
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“Ignoring China’s grave concerns and staunch opposition, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi insisted on visiting the Chinese region of Taiwan,” it read. “This constitutes serious interference in China’s internal affairs. It seriously undermines China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, seriously tramples on the one-China principle, and seriously threatens peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. In response to Pelosi’s egregious provocation, China decides to adopt sanctions against Pelosi and her immediate family members in accordance with the relevant laws of the PRC.”
China has increased its military presence in the area since Pelosi’s visit, sending a registry number aircraft to the median line across the Taiwan Strait on Friday.
“[We] condemn the communist army for deliberately crossing the middle line of the strait and harassing the sea and air around Taiwan,” Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said in its latest statement after Beijing deployed 68 Chinese fighter planes and 13 warships in the area that day.
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China also announced that the country would be stop the dialogue with the US in several areas, including among military commanders at the theater level and regarding the climate crisis.
Despite China’s aggressive rhetoric and military reactions, Wu’er Kaixi, who was a student leader during China’s 1989 Tiananmen Square democracy protests, said Reuters in an interview that Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan is a clear victory for the island and that it was not as threatening to relations with China as expected.
“Nancy Pelosi came to Taiwan with such a high profile, she made sure that the whole world saw her, and then she made sure that the United States military, the regional defense force, came forward and said that we are going to die protecting Taiwan. our president,” Wu explained. Ahem.
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“The whole world saw how the United States changed. What did China respond to that? military exercise; nothing they haven’t done before.”
Wu’er added that while the military exercises are on a “most frightening scale,” they are just exercises and there is no “imminent military threat.”
The 1,000 missiles currently targeting Taiwan is nothing new, Wu’er concluded, reminding viewers that it has been this way for the past three decades.
Companies take precautions
previous Tiananmen Square The protest leader’s views were not shared by all, as other countries and companies took extra precautions to avoid creating more drama around the sensitive issue.
On Friday, tech giant Apple told its suppliers that strictly comply by Chinese customs regulations that parts from Taiwan be labeled as made in “Taiwan, China” or “Chinese Taipei”.
In another case, the food company Mars Wrigley He apologized on Friday for its latest Snicker bar ad, which featured Taiwan as a country.
During a promotion for a limited edition Snickers bar, the video stated that the product was only available in the “countries” of South Korea, Malaysia, and Taiwan.
Mars Wrigley issued an apologetic statement on his Snickers China Weibo account, saying that the relevant material had been changed:
“Mars Wrigley respects the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of China and conducts its business operations in strict compliance with local Chinese laws and regulations.”
However, some Chinese netizens were not pleased with the apology, angry that the company’s statement did not explicitly state that Taiwan was part of China.
“Say it: Taiwan is an inseparable part of China’s territory!” wrote a user whose comment has received more than 8,000 likes.
In response to China’s increasingly aggressive military drills, Taiwan and its residents have also taken action.
On August 5, Taiwanese microchip tycoon Robert Tsao, 75, promised $100 million to Taiwan’s defense department after China launched an aggressive series of missile exercises the day before.
During a press conference, Tsao urged Taiwanese residents to “see through the evil nature of the Chinese Communist Party,” according to Taiwan News.
Tsao’s two sons, one of whom recently completed his mandatory military training and the other who will begin training in the coming summer vacation, would fight in the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) if China invaded Taiwan.
Japan has also been on high alert after five Chinese ballistic missiles landed in the waters near the islands of southwestern Japan on Thursday, the closest landing about 80 kilometers northwest of Yonaguni Island, which is in the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone.
With approximately 1,700 inhabitants, residents of Yonaguni fear that their home could be on the front lines of the conflict and become a target of attack.
“During the Vietnam War, boat people came here,” explained Ryuichi Ikema, director of a history museum on the island. “In the event of a Taiwanese contingency, millions of Taiwanese could come here. We are the closest island, and I wonder: how can we deal with that?
While it is unclear whether tensions between the US, Taiwan and China will escalate, the conflict is not isolated among the three and will have long-term impacts on the broader geopolitical landscape.
Featured Image via Guardian News / ABC News