Xi tested as Chinese nationalists bristle at Pelosi Taiwan visit

by | Aug 5, 2022 | World

The political fallout from the recent visit to Taiwan by Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the United States House of Representatives, continues to reverberate in China.Pelosi’s visit to the self-governing democracy, which China claims as its own territory, is testing Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s resolve at a politically sensitive time.
Xi is edging closer to securing an unprecedented third term as head of the ruling Chinese Communist Party at its upcoming 20th National Congress in November.
Yet as China reacts to the Pelosi visit with a show of military force, Xi is likely weighing the economic costs and diplomatic fallout with the US and its allies against his need to act tough on Taiwan as soaring nationalist sentiment within China pushes for him to do more.
“It’s put him (Xi) in an impossible position,” Stephen Nagy, a Tokyo-based China analyst and senior fellow at Canada’s MacDonald-Laurier Institute, told Al Jazeera.
“He has to maintain economic growth, which would be severely hampered by any kinetic response to the US and the increasing international recognition of Taiwan as a political entity,” Nagy said.
“Yet he is under tremendous pressure from nationalist forces inside China, who expect a strong response to what they understand to be a clear violation of the ‘One China Policy’… I’m doubtful he can strike this balance.”
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‘Not finished yet’
China is stagi …

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