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The continuing provocative threats of a visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a military aircraft to Taiwan, which China regards as part of the mainland, have stoked already acute global tensions, as well as a political and military crisis in Washington.
Pelosi, who has already embarked on her East Asian mission with a six-person delegation of Democrat congressional leaders, has deliberately refused to rule out landing in Taiwan, despite warnings from Beijing that any such trip will be resisted.
Whether or not Pelosi’s visit goes ahead, it has already served to bring the US confrontation with China, which Washington has designated a threat to its Asia-Pacific and global hegemony, closer to a potentially disastrous nuclear war.
An official statement issued by Pelosi on Sunday after a stopover in Hawaii indicated high-level discussions with military chiefs from the US Indo-Pacific Command about flying into Taiwan accompanied by US fighter jets.
Pelosi said her mission would focus on “mutual security, economic partnership and democratic governance,” and take in Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan. There was no mention of Taiwan, in keeping with the secrecy surrounding the trip.