MOSCOW, August 1./TASS/. US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi may use a passenger plane to visit Taiwan, since China won’t let her arrive there on board a military aircraft, Research Director of the Valdai Discussion Club Fyodor Lukyanov told TASS on Monday.
"If she does fly there, it’s a big question how she will do it. If she arrives by the plane she is using in Asia, which is a US Air Force plane, then, generally speaking, she has no right; the Chinese don't allow military aircraft there. If she decides to use a passenger plane, just an airliner, it will be curious to see," Lukyanov explained.
According to the expert, Pelosi's visit would be a provocation and would trigger a harsh reaction from Beijing. At the same time, Lukyanov believes that it will not come down to a direct military clash between the US and China. "The visit will put China in a very difficult position, since it cannot leave it unnoticed, while any reaction is fraught with the collapse of relations with the United States, which China does not want at this stage either," the expert explained.
Earlier, Kyodo reported citing Taiwanese media outlets that Pelosi may arrive in Taiwan late on August 2. Moreover, on August 3, Pelosi may meet with Taiwan's regional leader Tsai Ing-wen, the news agency stressed.
This trip may become the first visit by a speaker of the US House of Representatives to Taiwan in the last 25 years. Beijing repeatedly cautioned Washington that if Pelosi visited the island, this would have repercussions and China would take severe measures.
Taiwan has been governed by its local administration since 1949 when the remaining Kuomintang forces led by Chiang Kai-shek (1887-1975) fled to the island after suffering a defeat in China’s civil war. Since then, Taiwan has preserved the flag and some other symbols of the Republic of China that had existed in mainland China before the Communists came to power. Beijing regards the island as one of its provinces and this position is supported by most countries, including Russia.