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Bogeyman 

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British MPs plan visit to Taiwan as tension with China simmers​


Britain’s House of Commons foreign affairs committee is planning a visit to Taiwan later this year – probably in November or early December – despite rising tensions in the region, the Guardian has learned.

Sources say the trip – which was originally scheduled for early this year but was postponed due to one member of the delegation testing positive for Covid – was intended to show Britain’s support for the democratically run island, which China considers its own.


It comes as London’s relationship with Beijing continues to deteriorate. Last week, the Conservative leadership candidates, Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak, articulated their tough positions on China. And China’s ambassador to the UK accused some British politicians of “peddling the fallacy of the so-called China threat” in a video remark.

Tensions have been rising in the Taiwan strait in recent weeks after reports of a possible trip to Taipei by the US House speaker, Nancy Pelosi. Beijing has repeatedly warned against such a move and has threatened to take “decisive actions” if the trip goes ahead. Pelosi is now on a trip to Asia, where she has scheduled stops in Singapore, Malaysia, Japan and South Korea.


On Saturday, China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) conducted “live-fire exercises” near Pingtan island off Fujian province, according to the official Xinhua news agency. China’s maritime safety administration warned ships to avoid the area. The drills also came ahead of the 1 August PLA founding anniversary.

During their fifth phone call last week, China’s president, Xi Jinping, warned the US president, Joe Biden, not to “play with fire” over Taiwan. On Monday, China’s spokesperson said its military would “not sit idly by” if Pelosi went ahead with the Taiwan trip.

Tom Tugendhat, who chairs the foreign affairs select committee, is expected to lead the delegation to Taiwan later this year. But as he extended his backing to Truss over the weekend, there was speculation he may be given a cabinet-level job in her administration if she wins the race in September. But even if this happened, one source said, the trip would go ahead “whoever becomes the next chair”.

It is unclear whether the British delegation would meet Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-wen. Details of the trip are being hammered out, including the dates of the visit, sources have suggested. In the past, the Taiwanese leader has personally welcomed delegations from the European parliament and members of the US and Czech senates.

The move is yet another sign that London is strengthening its ties with Taiwan as it now regards China as a long-term threat to the UK. Officially, Britain continues to stick to its “one-China policy”, which recognises Beijing as the sole legal government of China, but it keeps ties with Taiwan on an unofficial level.

Truss, the foreign secretary, has in recent months urged western countries to ensure Taiwan can protect itself from China. In June, she remarked in an interview that the UK should provide Taiwan with weapons – a comment that surprised some of her fellow MPs and colleagues, the Guardian understands.

The Taipei representative office in London declined to comment on details of the potential visit when approached by the Guardian, but it said Taiwan “welcomes any opportunities to strengthen its relations with Britain, including through visits from the UK”.


The foreign affairs committee said it “has had a longstanding intention to visit Taiwan, within the context of its inquiry into the tilt to the Indo-Pacific”. But it declined to comment on the details of the visit “due to security concerns and in line with normal practice”.
 

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Sailors conducted flight operations on the U.S. Navy’s only forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) @Gipper_76, July 29, in the South China Sea.

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Photos of the US Navy () aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) passing through the San Bernardino Strait, the Philippines () on July 30.

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xizhimen

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Media just tries so hard to hype this up, but in China we feel nothing is happening and most Chinese don't even know this. do western satelites see any mobilization in Fujian province for a war? it's all rhetoric, child's play.
 

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— White House spokesperson John Kirby

Kirby said Monday that Biden had told Xi on the call that Congress is independent of the White House and Pelosi "makes her own decisions".

Kirby repeatedly argued that the visit, if it happens, would not be without precedent, as then-Speaker Newt Gingrich traveled to Taiwan in 1997 and numerous lower-ranking U.S. lawmakers have visited more recently.

  • But Biden himself helped focus attention on the trip when he publicly warned on July 21 that the U.S. military thought it was "not a good idea right now."
  • Kirby contended that Pelosi's visit would not alter the status quo or signal any change in U.S. policy, while "Beijing's actions could have unintended consequences that only serve to increase tensions."
  • Pelosi has kept quiet about her trip, which is expected to include a meeting on Wednesday with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen. Pelosi tweeted an itinerary of her travels in Asia on Sunday but made no mention of Taiwan.
 

xizhimen

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I personally believe that China shouldn't over react, it's just a visit and it's not the first time either, a visit won't change anything, sabre rattling for such a petty matter is meaningless. China needs to make her point and there are many ways to do it instead of going down a war path.
 

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Taiwan Stocks Decline as US-China Tensions Sap Risk Appetite​

  • Benchmark Taiex falls as much as 2.1%, TSMC slides 3.1%
  • Investors worried about escalating US-China tensions
By Y-Sing Liau
2022年8月2日 GMT+8 上午9:49

Taiwan stocks fell after an expected visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi renewed concerns over an escalation of US-China tensions.
The benchmark Taiwan Stock Exchange Weighted Index declined as much as 2.1%. Shares of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. sank 3.1%.

 

xizhimen

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I personally don't really care if we have two Chinas, as long as they are both Chinas, leave some room for a bit of competition and let either one strive to prove that they are the "better China", competition among ourselves probably can maximize the great potential of the Chinese nation. I only speak for myself. My allegiance lies with China, not CCP or KMT.
 

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Several Chinese warplanes fly close to median line of Taiwan Strait - source​


Several Chinese warplanes flew close to the median line of the sensitive Taiwan Strait on Tuesday morning, a source briefed on the matter told Reuters, as tensions mounted on news U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi was set to visit Taiwan during the day.

The source said several Chinese warships have stayed close to unofficial dividing line since Monday, adding that Taiwan had dispatched aircraft to monitor the situation.

Taiwan's defence ministry was not immediately able to respond to a request for comment.

The source said both Chinese warships and aircraft "squeezed" the median line on Tuesday morning, an unusual move the person described as "very provocative." Neither side's aircraft normally cross the median line.

The person said the Chinese aircraft repeatedly conducted tactical moves of briefly "touching" the median line and circling back to the other side of the strait on Tuesday morning, while Taiwanese aircraft were on standby nearby.

China claims democratically-ruled Taiwan as its own territory and has ramped up military and political pressure to try and force the island to accept Chinese rule.

Taiwan rejects China's claims and vows to defend itself.
 

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I personally believe that China shouldn't over react, it's just a visit and it's not the first time either, a visit won't change anything, sabre rattling for such a petty matter is meaningless. China needs to make her point and there are many ways to do it instead of going down a war path.
images (39).jpeg
 

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