China has yet to follow through with its threats of retribution against the U.S. after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi departed Taiwan, where she reaffirmed her support for its democratic government, on Wednesday evening.
Pelosi met with the Taiwanese parliament and President Tsai Ing-Wen Wednesday to reaffirm the U.S. commitment to democracy in Taiwan, The Associated Press reported, although the White House has not officially sanctioned her visit. China promised a “forceful” military response to Pelosi’s visit, but so far it has taken steps, including military exercises and import restrictions, that do not immediately harm the U.S. or Taiwan.
“Today the world faces a choice between democracy and autocracy,” said Pelosi. “America’s determination to preserve democracy, here in Taiwan and around the world, remains ironclad.”
In response, China blocked imports of some products from Taiwan but refrained from targeting Taiwan’s semiconductor manufacturers, which China relies on heavily to support its technology industry, the AP reported. Total two-way trade between mainland China and Taiwan reached $328.3 billion in 2021, and Taiwan’s exports to Chinese factories rose 24.4% to $104.3 billion, the AP reported.
Taiwan supplies roughly half of global chip processor needs, the AP reported. Any action by China to disrupt Taiwan’s chip manufacturing or exports could send shockwaves through the worldwide technology industry.
China announced a series of military drills Tuesday in six key areas of operation around Taiwan, with live fire exercises set to begin on Aug. 4. Twenty-seven Chinese aircraft penetrated Taiwan’s air defense identification zone Wednesday.
Taiwanese leaders said the exercises could effectively create a “sea and air blockade of Taiwan,” Reuters reported. Chinese state media said China’s countermeasures underscored its “firm strategic determination and sufficient patience to adhere to its own timetable in solving the Taiwan question.”
Despite Chinese threats and minor economic restrictions on Taiwan, Asian stock markets rose Wednesday, the AP reported.
Tsai presented Pelosi with the nation’s highest civilian honor during a live broadcast of their meeting, expressing gratitude for the speaker’s support and friendship, according to The Guardian. Tsai added that Taiwan would “never back down” from the Chinese threat and reminded the U.S. of a “bedrock promise” it made to “always stand with Taiwan,” Axios reported.
“We will not abandon our commitment to Taiwan,” Pelosi said, according to Axios.
— 外交部 Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ROC (Taiwan) 🇹🇼 (@MOFA_Taiwan) August 2, 2022
“We all consider Pelosi’s move as extremely wrong, so it has to be punished,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said Wednesday. “They will reap what they sowed.”
While Taiwan is internationally recognized as part of China, it maintains independent democratic governance. China believes Tsai seeks to fully break off ties with China and views Pelosi’s public commitment to Taiwan as support of the island’s secessionist aims, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
“We expect that [China] will continue to react over the longer-term horizon,” National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said at a White House briefing Tuesday. He reiterated that Pelosi’s travels were of her own initiative.
Pelosi’s office, the Taiwanese Foreign Ministry and the Chinese Embassy and State Council did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment.
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