‘Fragile’ Xi acting like ‘scared bully’ as Pelosi issues rallying cry to US Congress

Joe Biden set to hold a call with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping

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This came after Ms Pelosi visited Taiwan last week. She warned that members of Congress won’t be intimidated by China’s reaction to her visit. The House speaker told NBC’s Today show that just because Mr Xi “has his own insecurities, doesn’t mean that I am going to have him do my schedule for members of Congress”.

Speaking on MSNBC’s Morning Joe program, she added: “We’re not going to be accomplices to his isolation of Taiwan.

“I think he’s in a fragile place.

“He’s acting like a scared bully.”

China’s foreign ministry said Ms Pelosi’s visit “has a severe impact on the political foundation of China-US relations, and seriously infringes upon China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

The Chinese military extended an unprecedented show of force in retaliation for the visit, including four days of military drills encircling Taiwan.

Since last Thursday, the People’s Liberation Army has fired missiles around Taiwan and sent more than 200 military aircraft and more than 50 warships towards the island, according to Taiwan’s Defense Ministry.

Meanwhile, dozens of Chinese military planes have crossed the median line in the Taiwan Strait, the unofficial sea border between Taiwan and China.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said on Monday that the exercises were aimed at “sending a warning” to those seeking Taiwan’s independence.

In a statement after landing in Taiwan, Ms Pelosi said: “Our congressional delegation’s visit to Taiwan honours America’s unwavering commitment to supporting Taiwan’s vibrant democracy.

“America’s solidarity with the 23 million people of Taiwan is more important today than ever, as the world faces a choice between autocracy and democracy.”

China had previously warned of “consequences” if Ms Pelosi proceeded with the visit.

Zhao Lijian, China’s foreign ministry spokesman, said: “If the US insists on going its own way and challenging China’s bottom line, it will surely be met with forceful responses.

“All ensuing consequences shall be borne by the US.”

This comes amid growing tensions between China and Taiwan, which is seen by Beijing as a breakaway province.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has historically called for a “reunification” between the two countries, which he said “must be fulfilled”.

He has not ruled out the possibility of using force to achieve this, with the country taking an increasingly aggressive stance towards Taiwan.

The past year has seen a record number of incursions sent into Taiwan’s air defence zone by Chinese warplanes.

The US has historically been ambiguous about whether or not it would formally intervene if China attacked Taiwan.

But in October last year, US President Joe Biden was asked whether he could “vow to protect Taiwan”.

In response, Mr Biden said: “yes and yes”.

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