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Editorial: U.S. House Speaker’s visit to Taiwan demonstrates solidarity of democracy

  • August 4, 2022
  • , Sankei , p. 2
  • JMH Translation
  • ,

We welcome the fact that House Speaker Pelosi visited Taiwan without succumbing to China’s intimidation.

 

Immediately after her arrival, Pelosi released a statement saying the visit shows an unwavering American commitment toward vibrant democracy in Taiwan. During her meeting with President Tsai, she said, “America stands with Taiwan.”

 

These are powerful messages that clearly demonstrate the U.S. resolve not to allow China to absorb Taiwan.

 

At the same time, Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan will help to enhance deterrence against China. To further strengthen its effectiveness, Japan and other democratic nations must coordinate with the United States.

 

The speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives is second in the United States presidential line of succession, after the vice president, and this was the first time in 25 years for the house speaker to visit the island economy. As Pelosi said in her statement, “the world faces a choice between autocracy and democracy,” and Taiwan is the focus of worldwide attention as the front line in the confrontation [between the two systems].

 

The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs protested, saying, “[the visit] is a major political provocation. … China absolutely does not accept this.” Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi condemned the move, saying, “It proves that the United States is the biggest destroyer of peace across the Taiwan Strait and the biggest troublemaker for regional stability.”

 

China’s military coercion is also increasing. The Chinese military announced it would conduct air and sea exercises in six zones around Taiwan.

 

While nations must continue to watch out for accidental clashes between the United States and China caused by China’s provocative actions in reaction to Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, they should firmly uphold their resolute stance against China.

 

Initially, some in the U.S. government took a cautious stance on Pelosi’s Taiwan visit. This was because of concerns that the visit would heighten military tensions in the Taiwan Strait at this politically sensitive time for China, as the Chinese Communist Party will hold its National Congress this autumn, an event that happens only once every five years.

 

If Pelosi had abandoned her plan to visit Taiwan, the U.S. would have lost the trust of the international community as the leader of liberalism, because to abandon the trip might have left room for China to see the U.S. as a country that bows to pressure. It is significant that the visit avoided such a situation and demonstrated solidarity of democracy.

 

Chief Cabinet Secretary Matsuno Hirokazu said, “The Japanese government is not in a position to comment” on the Pelosi visit to Taiwan, but Japan is an ally of the U.S. [Matsuno’s statement] reveals an insufficient awareness that a Taiwan contingency links directly to [Japan’s] security. Japan should learn from Pelosi and consider a Taiwan visit by Japan’s Lower House Speaker and others.

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