Repercussions of Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan felt around the world as countries and companies stay on their toes
The fallout from US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)'s controversial and high-profile visit to Taiwan on Tuesday will be felt by countries and businesses around the world as tensions rise amid the prospect of world war.
China issued several warnings in the weeks leading up to Pelosi's visit to Taiwan, which the communist country strongly condemned.
Last week, Chinese President Xi Jinping warned US President Joe Biden during a historic two-hour phone call that "those who play with fire will only be burned," citing possible US support for the island's independence .
Although the House Speaker's trip to Taiwan lasted less than a day, it drew strong reactions from countries around the world, which understood the geopolitical implications of one of America's top officials' visit to the island and pledged that his support for Taiwan's democracy persists. iron."
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Pelosi reiterated her commitment during her visit to Japan on Thursday, where she stated during a news conference at the US Embassy in Tokyo that China "might try to prevent Taiwan from visiting or attending other places," but it will "Taiwan don't isolate". prevents us from traveling there.”
"We will not allow them to isolate Taiwan," she said.
On Friday, a spokesman for the People's Republic of China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement announcing sanctions against House Speaker Pelosi.
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"By ignoring China's serious concerns and staunch opposition, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi insisted on visiting China's Taiwan region," it said. "This constitutes gross 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 cross-strait peace and stability. In response to Pelosi's outrageous provocation, China resolves to impose sanctions on Pelosi and her immediate family members in accordance with the relevant laws of the People's Republic of China."
China has increased its military presence in the region since Pelosi's visit, dispatching a record number of planes to the median line leading down the Taiwan Strait on Friday.
"[We] condemn the communist military for intentionally crossing the center line of the straits and harassing the sea and air around Taiwan," Taiwan's Defense Ministry said in its latest statement after Beijing shot down 68 Chinese warplanes and 13 warships that day stationed in the region.
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China also announced that the country would halt dialogue with the US on several areas, including between theater-level military commanders and on the climate crisis.
Despite the aggressive rhetoric and military response from China, Wu'er Kaixi, who was a former student leader during China's 1989 Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests, told Reuters in an interview that Pelosi's visit to Taiwan was a clear win for the island and that it was not as threatening to relations with China as expected.
"Nancy Pelosi came to Taiwan in such a high profile, made sure the whole world saw her, and then made the US military and regional defense forces all come forward and say we're going to die for our sake to protect speakers,” Wu' er explained.
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“The whole world has watched as the United States has changed. How did China react to this? military exercise; nothing they haven't done before."
Wu'er added that while the military drills are of a "more frightening scale," they are just drills and there is no "imminent military threat."
The 1,000 missiles currently aimed at Taiwan are nothing new, Wu'er concluded, reminding viewers that this has been the case for the past three decades.
companies are cautious
The views of the former Tiananmen Square protest leader were not shared by everyone as other countries and companies have taken extra precautions to avoid causing even more drama on the sensitive issue.
On Friday, tech giant Apple urged its suppliers to strictly comply with China's customs regulations, which require parts from Taiwan to be marked as made in "Taiwan, China" or "Chinese Taipei".
In another instance, food company Mars Wrigley apologized Friday for its latest Snicker Bar ad that counted 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 posted an apology statement on his Snickers China Weibo account, stating that the relevant material had been altered:
"Mars Wrigley respects China's national sovereignty and territorial integrity and conducts its business in strict compliance with local Chinese laws and regulations."
However, some Chinese netizens were unhappy with the apology, upset that the company's statement didn't specifically mention Taiwan as part of China.
"Say it: Taiwan is an inseparable part of China's territory!" wrote one user, whose comment received over 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, pledged $100 million to Taiwan's defense ministry after China launched an aggressive series of missile exercises the day before.
During a press conference, Tsao urged Taiwan 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 compulsory military training and the other will start training over the upcoming summer break, would both fight in the People's Liberation Army (PLA) if China invaded Taiwan.
Japan was also on high alert after five Chinese ballistic missiles landed in waters near Japan's southwestern islands on Thursday, the next of which landed about 80 kilometers north-northwest of Yonaguni Island, which lies in the country's exclusive economic zone.
Home to around 1,700 residents, Yonaguni residents fear their home may be on the front lines of the conflict and a target for attack.
"During the Vietnam War, boat people came here," explains Ryuichi Ikema, director of a history museum on the island. "In the event of a Taiwanese emergency, millions of Taiwanese could come here. We're the closest island and I'm wondering: How can we deal with that?”
While it's unclear whether tensions between the US, Taiwan and China will increase, the conflict is not isolated between the three and will have long-term implications for the larger geopolitical picture.
Featured image via Guardian News/ABC News
Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
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