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Russia calls Pelosi’s Taiwan visit a ‘planned provocation’

Russia's President Vladimir Putin. (Alexei Nikolsky/Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/TASS/Abaca Press/TNS)
August 18, 2022

This article was originally published by Radio Free Asia and is reprinted with permission.

Russia lent China a hand to China’s criticism of U.S. policies in the Indo-Pacific, with President Vladimir Putin calling House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan “a carefully planned provocation.”

In a speech to a Moscow security conference on Tuesday, the Russian leader said Pelosi’s visit was a “brazen demonstration of disrespect for the sovereignty of other countries,” and for Washington’s international obligations.

“The American adventure in relation to Taiwan is not just a trip of an individual irresponsible politician, but part of a purposeful, conscious U.S. strategy to destabilize and make chaotic the situation in the region and the world,” he said.

Nancy Pelosi, the most senior U.S. official to visit Taiwan in 25 years, made a stopover in Taipei earlier this month, as part of her Asia tour.

Beijing strongly condemned the visit, calling it “an egregious provocation” and launched a week-long military drill around Taiwan in response.

China also imposed sanctions against Pelosi and her immediate family, as well as a number of Taiwanese politicians who Beijing labeled “diehard separatists.”

Repeating China’s line

Moscow adheres to the One-China policy and recognizes the Beijing government as the sole legitimate government of the whole of China.

Putin, at a Russian Energy Week conference last October, said “China does not need to use force” when it comes to Taiwan’s reunification.

“China is a huge, powerful economy… and by increasing this economic potential, China is capable of implementing its national objectives,” he said.

Russia and China maintain a close strategic partnership which they recently proclaimed has “no limits” and “no forbidden areas of cooperation.”

In his speech to the 10th Conference of International Security in Moscow the Russian President also lashed out at the AUKUS security pact between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

“We also see that the collective West is seeking to extend its bloc system to the Asia-Pacific region by analogy with NATO in Europe. For this purpose, aggressive military-political alliances are being formed, such as AUKUS and others,” Putin said, accusing the U.S. of prolonging the Ukraine war as well as “fueling the potential for conflict in Asia, Africa and Latin America.”

The U.S. State Department rejected the accusation about Ukraine. Spokesman Ned Price said at a regular press briefing on Tuesday that “there is no country that did more in advance of Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine to try to prevent the war” than the United States.

“And no one is responsible for this invasion, no one is responsible for the war’s continuation, beyond President Putin and those in the Kremlin who decided to launch and to continue this war,” he added.

Taiwan’s government has yet to comment on Putin’s statements about Pelosi’s visit.