Forceful China response to Pelosi could backfire: Academic

08/02/2022 05:07 PM
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U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Image source:
U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Image source:

San Francisco, Aug. 1 (CNA) U.S.-based China researcher M. Taylor Fravel said Monday that a forceful show by Beijing in response to a reported visit to Taiwan by U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi could backfire.

Fravel, a political science professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said on Twitter that with the People's Liberation Army approaching the peak of its annual training, China will likely convey its discontent with live-fire exercises in a larger scale, and even with incursions across the median line of Taiwan Strait for days if not weeks.

"China will do more than surge aircraft into Taiwan's ADIZ (Air Defense Identification Zone) for a day or two," he said, adding that all of these actions were unlikely to take place until after Pelosi's departure from Taiwan.

Beijing has questioned the White House's commitment to its "one China" policy, particularly since U.S. President Joe Biden twice declared Washington had a "commitment" to defend Taiwan in October 2021.

Following Biden's comments, China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi (王毅), accused the White House of pursuing a "fake" "one China" policy, with President Xi Jinping (習近平) warning the United States on at least two occasions "not to play with fire."

Although China's ultimate goal is "underscore resolve without sparking escalation," Beijing's strong response and the presence of U.S. naval assets in the vicinity of Taiwan could lead to a military miscalculation, Fravel said.

He added that "China's efforts are likely to backfire and lead to redoubled efforts, especially in Congress, [for the United States] to do even more for Taiwan."

(By Chou Shih-wei and Ken Chao)


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