G7 slams China for ‘destabilising region’ over US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan
- ‘There is no justification to use a visit as pretext for aggressive military activity in the Taiwan Strait’, say foreign ministers in joint statement
- Yet bloc of democracies makes clear there is no change to their ‘respective one-China policies’ and ‘basic positions’ regarding the island
It urged China not to “unilaterally change the status quo by force in the region, and to resolve cross-strait differences by peaceful means”.
Beijing has repeatedly accused Pelosi and the US of violating its own one-China principle, a policy in which China claims Taiwan, a self-governing island, as part of its territory.
However, while G7 members acknowledge Beijing’s claims to Taiwan, the one-China principle is not recognised as an internationally binding policy among the bloc.
China summoned US Ambassador Nicholas Burns late on Tuesday night and “lodged stern representations and strong protests” over the trip.
Before leaving the island on Wednesday, the US House speaker tweeted: “Make no mistake: America remains unwavering in our commitment to the people of Taiwan – now & for decades to come.”
The PLA’s Eastern Theatre Command conducted air and sea drills near the island beginning on Tuesday evening.
Xiamen Airlines has also made changes to flights, citing “flow control” in the mainland Chinese province of Fujian, which is opposite Taiwan.
“It’s perfectly reasonable what is taking place and I urge China to de-escalate,” Truss added, according to The Guardian.
Reinhard Butikofer, head of the European Parliament’s delegation on China, moved to quash speculation that lawmakers would be cowed from visiting Taiwan due to Beijing’s response.
“Parliamentary contacts with Taiwan have long been part of the political status quo. The EU and Germany cannot accept that China is shifting the red lines here. We define our one-China policy ourselves; we will not let Beijing dictate it to us … there will be more parliamentary visits in the future,” he said.
However, Lanxin Xiang, a Geneva-based research associate with the Belfer Centre of Harvard University, said Pelosi’s visit was “going to expedite the preparation for eventual overall military operation”.
“My sense is this will probably expedite at least in terms of military preparation,” Xiang said. “[Beijing] would not allow this to continue at such a fast speed moving towards what they considered independence.”
As for Taiwan’s readiness, Bonnie Glaser, Asia director at the Washington-based German Marshall Fund, suggested the US supply additional training and technological support for the island’s territorial defence.
“We need to do more training with Taiwan,” Glaser told the US government’s leading advisory panel on China policy in Washington on Thursday. “But the question, of course, is how is the best way to do this?”
“Do you take units out of Taiwan, maybe train with them in Guam? Do you take them to Hawaii? Or do you do that training in Taiwan?”
Testifying before the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, Glaser said the G7 statement represented “a first” in that it was “a statement focused on calling out China for its actions that it has taken surrounding Speaker Pelosi’s visit”.
“This really does underscore how much concern there is [among] our closest allies … Japan being number one on that list,” she added.
Sheena Greitens, an associate professor of public affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, agreed that the G7 statement showed an “increased willingness” in the bloc to counter Beijing.
Greitens believed it reflected a desire “in part to try to head off or limit or reduce the risks” of a conflict in Taiwan.
Additional reporting by Robert Delaney and Laura Brickman in Washington