Unless the U.S. starts sending strong messages of deterrence to China, a visit to Los Angeles by Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, where she is expected to meet with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., next week, could result in Beijing making good on threats of retaliation, Asia expert Gordon Chang told Newsmax on Thursday.
"We've had a lot of warnings from Beijing over the course of decades about Taiwan, and most of the time, they're hollow," Chang told "American Agenda." "But [China President] Xi Jinping in recent months has shown a very different tone to the world, very different tone to the U.S. Utter disrespect for the United States.
"So, I think that at some point we are going to see China actually follow through on one of these threats, and this visit that Speaker McCarthy is supposed to have with the president of Taiwan next week, I think this could be it."
China claims self-governing Taiwan is part of its territory and threatens to bring the island under its control by force, if necessary. Taiwan split following the 1949 Communist revolution in China. Under its "One China" policy, the U.S. acknowledges Beijing's view that it has sovereignty over Taiwan, but considers Taiwan's status as unsettled.
Following a visit by then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to Taiwan in August, China launched missiles over the area, deployed warships across the median line of the Taiwan Strait and carried out military exercises in a mock blockade of the island. Beijing also suspended talks with the U.S. on climate change and other issues.
"China is rapidly building up its nuclear forces, and I think what they're trying to do is to use those to force the U.S. to stand down," Chang said. "In the event of some Chinese aggression, Beijing is going to say to the United States: 'Don't get involved or we will nuke America.' And you know, you might have an American president who would fall for that.
"So this is [Russian President] Vladimir Putin's playbook. This is what we've heard from [North Korea dictator] Kim Jong-un recently and Xi Jinping has been making new threats of his own. So, this is an exceedingly dangerous world."
Chang said China could certainly hurt the U.S. without taking any military action, such as shutting off access to pharmaceuticals and other goods in which the U.S. heavily relies upon. Regardless, he said it's a consequential moment because China is showing disrespect, and President Joe Biden is not stepping to the plate to defend the U.S.
"Speaker McCarthy absolutely has to be with the Taiwan president because this is on our own soil," Chang said. "How can we let them say to us we can't do it? We're going to do it."
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