Moscow casts doubt on Pelosi’s Taiwan visit

The potential journey is purely provocative, Russia says, expressing solidarity with Beijing

Moscow regards the potential visit of US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan as a “purely provocative” act that adds to already high tensions in the region, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said during a press conference on Tuesday.

Peskov said that while “we can’t say for sure” whether or not Pelosi will touch down in Taiwan, he insisted that her entire tour of the region and possible visit to Taipei “provokes a situation” and “leads to tension.”

“We see this, it is being recorded by all countries of the world. We stand in absolute solidarity with China here. Its sensitivity to this issue is understandable. It is justified. And instead of respecting this the US is choosing the path of confrontation. It doesn’t bode well,” the Kremlin spokesman said, adding that Washington’s decision is “only regrettable.” 

Peskov also noted that in the event that a military conflict breaks out as a result of the ongoing tensions between China and the US over Taiwan, Russia’s borders would be secured by its own army.

“Regardless of the emergence of some provocative situations, the security of our borders is reliably ensured along the entire perimeter of these borders by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation,” Peskov proclaimed.

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Pelosi is expected to become the first speaker of the US House or Representatives to visit Taiwan in over two decades. Beijing said the trip would be an affront to its ‘One China’ policy, through which it lays claim to sovereignty over Taiwan, and which Washington formally acknowledges.

Speaking about the possible visit by the speaker during his briefing on Monday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian warned that “if you play with fire, you will get burned. I believe the US is fully aware of the strong and clear message delivered by China.”

If Pelosi “dares” to travel to Taiwan, “the [People’s Liberation Army] will not sit idly by” and will take “resolute and strong countermeasures” to protect China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, he said. 

Taiwan, which officially calls itself the Republic of China (ROC), has been self-governed since 1949 but has never officially declared independence from Beijing.

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