World

What will China do if Nancy Pelosi visits Taiwan?

2 August 2022

1:29 AM

2 August 2022

1:29 AM

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the subsequent sanctions, are roiling European energy markets and threatening a continent-wide recession. But we live in an age of multiple crises, and tensions over Taiwan are bound to flare in the coming days.

There are reports that Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, will visit tomorrow. She would be the most senior US figure to visit this century. The Chinese have said that their military ‘won’t sit idly by’ if she does go there. Now to be clear, this almost certainly means military exercises rather than anything else. But it is worth noting that Joe Biden has said the US military do not consider it ‘a good idea right now’.

The economic consequences of a Chinese blockade of Taiwan, as Sam Olsen wrote recently, would dwarf those of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Such actions may still be a way off. But the US and its allies need to think more about how to prevent this and how to reduce their dependence on China.

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