Warships Swarm South China Sea, Beijing-US Tensions Increase Over Pelosi Taiwan Visit

A pro-China supporter steps on a defaced photo of U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi during a protest against her visit to Taiwan outside the Consulate General of the United States on August 03, 2022 in Hong Kong, China. (Photo by Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)

August 3, 2022

As U.S. House Speaker Pelosi arrived for her highly-anticipated state visit to Taiwan, China reportedly sent warships to the waters surrounding the island, according to Politico. War vessels swarm the South China Sea as the U.S. senior official follows through with her delegation visit. 

Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan on August 2nd, the “most senior U.S. official” to visit Taiwan in 25 years, the BBC reports. Pelosi’s trip has been subsequently labeled “extremely dangerous” by Beijing. Pelosi visited Taiwan “despite warnings” from Beijing. See recent updates from The Wall Street Journal.

The Associated Press reported July 27th that the U.S. military has prepared precautions in response to Pelosi’s visit. At the time of the AP report, it was not yet certain that Pelosi would make the state delegation visit. 

Officials told the Associated Press that, in the event of the Pelosi visit, U.S. forces would increase the movement of “forces and assets” in the Indo-Pacific region. U.S. 7th Fleet reported that sailors conducted operations with forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan in the South China Sea on July 29th.

Operations by the Blue Green Team continued on August 3 aboard the USS New Orleans. The security agency Crisis 24 wrote that China is expected to continue South China Sea drills until August 6th. 

Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan has been seen by the Central Chinese Communist Party as a challenge to its sovereignty. While Taipei has declared its sovereign independence, the People’s Republic of China considers Taiwan to be within its sovereign territory. Chinese leader Xi Jinping warned Biden in a recent conference call against U.S. increased relations with Taiwan, as tensions surmount over the China-Taiwan regional controversy. 

The Pelosi Congressional delegation was met with strong criticism from U.S. national security experts and foreign affairs commentators. 

Thomas L Friedman, foreign affairs Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times, called Pelosi’s visit “utterly dangerous, reckless, and irresponsible,” and noted that it was “against President Biden’s wishes.” 

Pelosi released an opinion article in The Washington Post on August 2nd explaining her reasons for leading a Congressional delegation in Taiwan. 

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