US Deploys Ships, Military Planes near Taiwan as Possibility of Pelosi’s Visit Grows


The US military is shifting aircraft carriers and large planes closer to Taiwan ahead of the possible visit to the island by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The Pentagon expressed concern and also raised opposition to the speaker’s visit but according to a report by Nikkei Asia it seems that the US military is creating a buffer zone for Pelosi’s flight, if she decides to go ahead with her visit which will create controversy and tensions in east Asia.

Earlier in the day, a reporter from the Taiwan news network TVBS tweeted that the speaker is expected to arrive in Taiwan on Tuesday evening.

Pelosi and her delegation met Singapore prime minister Lee Hsien Loong and other high-ranking officials. She landed in Singapore on a C-40C military plane.

Pelosi will visit Malaysia, South Korea and Japan next and has remained tight-lipped about her possible plan to visit Taiwan.

Which Ships and Planes Have the US Army Summoned?

According to the report by Nikkei, the USS Ronald Reagan returned to the South China Sea. It earlier made a port call to Singapore a week before Pelosi’s visit.

Another amphibious assault ship USS Tripoli is currently near the island of Okinawa and another amphibious assault ship USS America is deployed in Sasebo, Japan.

The aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, Landing Helicopter Dock USS Essex and 36 other warships as well as three submarines, who are currently conducting war drills in the Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC) are also stationed in the Pacific, near Hawaii.

The US Air Force (USAF) also sent two HC-130J Combat King IIs to Okinawa from Anchorage, Alaska along with multiple KC-135 Stratotankers which are used to refuel aircraft while they are mid-air. The HC-130J Combat King IIs are fixed-wing personnel recovery platforms used by the USAF.

On Monday, the Chinese foreign ministry once again expressed their disapproval of the US House Speaker’s possible visit to Taiwan.

“Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan would be a gross interference in China’s internal affairs, seriously damaging China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Her status as the No.3 politician in the US means that her visit to Taiwan would be highly sensitive. It will seriously violate the one-China principle and damage China-US relations,” Zhao Lijian, foreign ministry spokesperson said.

“China will take resolute and strong countermeasures to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity once Pelosi’s visit takes place. As for countermeasures, if she dares to go, let us wait and see,” Zhao Lijian further added.

(with inputs from Nikkei Asia)

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