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Threat To US Speaker Plane Over Taiwan Issue – Free PDF Download


What’s happening?

  • China has warned that it will respond forcefully if US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi goes ahead with a visit to Taiwan, the self-governing island democracy it claims as its own territory.
  • Pelosi is second in line to the presidency and would be the highest ranking US politician to visit Taiwan since 1997.
  • China has threatened unspecified “resolute and strong measures” if she goes ahead, which analysts say could cause tensions to spike in Taiwan Strait, considered a major potential Asian powder keg.

Attack on Pelosi’s plane

  • S. officials say they have little fear that China would attack Nancy Pelosi’s plane if she flies to Taiwan.
  • But the U.S. House speaker would be entering one of the world’s hottest spots, where a mishap, misstep or misunderstanding could endanger her safety.
  • So the Pentagon is developing plans for any contingency.

Why Pelosi wants to visit Taiwan?

  • Pelosi has been a staunch critic of China throughout her more than three decades in Congress.
  • She was also a strong supporter of 2019 pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, making her a target of caustic criticism from Beijing.
  • Taiwan enjoys strong bipartisan support in Congress, and Pelosi said last week it was “important for us to show support for Taiwan.”
  • Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen has defied Beijing’s threats and her administration has favored,
  • Core democratic values and liberal policies close to Pelosi’s heart, including same-sex marriage and a strong social security net.

Why would the visit cause rise in tension?

  • China claims Taiwan as its own territory to be annexed by force if necessary and its military build-up in recent years has largely been oriented toward such a mission.
  • Beijing objects to all official contact between Taipei and Washington, and routinely threatens retaliation.
  • China launched military exercises and fired missiles into waters near Taiwan in response to a 1995 visit to the US by Taiwan’s then-President Lee Teng-hui, but it’s military capabilities have advanced massively since then.
  • While experts say it’s unlikely China would use force to prevent Pelosi’s US government plane from landing in Taipei, its response remains unpredictable.
  • Threatening military drills and incursions by ships and planes are considered potential scenarios that would set the entire region on edge.

Why is the timing sensitive?

  • President Joe Biden’s administration is keen to keep America’s crucial but often turbulent and highly complex relationship with China on an even keel.
  • Pelosi had planned to visit in April but postponed after getting Covid-19.
  • She has declined to discuss reported plans to travel to Taiwan in coming weeks.
  • That could coincide with China’s celebrations of the August 1 anniversary of the founding of the People’s Liberation Army, and possibly overlap with a planned phone call between Biden and President Xi Jinping.
  • A more robust Chinese response could also be driven by Xi’s desire to bolster his nationalist credentials ahead of a party congress later this year at which he is expected to seek a third five-year term in office.
  • Xi’s expansion of his powers into every sphere and his hardline zero-Covid response to the domestic epidemic has sowed,
  • A degree of resentment and appealing to raw patriotism, particularly over Taiwan, might help him fend off criticism.

What Taiwan is saying?

  • Tsai has been welcoming of all foreign dignitaries, serving and retired, from the US, Europe and Asia,
  • Using such visits as a bulwark against China’s refusal to deal with her government and relentless campaign of diplomatic isolation.
  • Still, her rhetoric on such occasions has generally been relatively low-key, reflecting her own calm demeanour and possibly a desire not to further antagonize China, which remains a crucial economic partner.
  • The capital Taipei staged a civil defence drill Monday and Tsai on Tuesday attended annual military exercises,
  • Although there was no direct connection with tensions over a possible Pelosi visit.
  • While the Taiwanese public strongly rejects China’s demands for unification, the ability of the island’s military to defend against the PLA without US help is highly questionable,
  • So shoring up the armed forces has been a hallmark of Tsai’s term in office.

Q) Which of the following oceans has the most coral reefs?

  1. Indian ocean
  2. Pacific ocean
  3. Atlantic ocean
  4. Arctic ocean




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