Military vehicles carrying HHQ-9B surface-to-air missiles participate in a military parade at Tiananmen Square in Beijing on October 1, 2019, to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Peoples Republic of China.


The White House said China could respond in various ways to a potential Taiwan trip by Nancy Pelosi. 
NSC spokesperson John Kirby told reporters this could include firing missiles or military exercises, among other things.
China has repeatedly suggested that it could respond with military action if Pelosi visits Taiwan. 

The White House warned on Monday that China could respond to a possible trip to Taiwan by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi this week in various ways, including with military provocation. 

White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby told reporters that Beijing “appears to be positioning itself” for potential “military provocations” if Pelosi visits the self-ruled island democracy, which earlier reports suggested she is slated to do despite repeated Chinese threats and warnings. 

Kirby said these steps could include China “firing missiles in the Taiwan Strait or around Taiwan,” and “operations that break historical norms, such as large-scale air entry into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone.” China has previously flown military aircraft into the ADIZ, with some incursions involving dozens of aircraft including fighter jets and bombers, but there is room for further escalation.

He added that potential Chinese military actions could also include highly-publicized military exercises and air or naval activities that cross the “median line” that runs along the middle of the strait that separates Taiwan from mainland China, possibly triggering a serious increase in tensions.  

That said, Kirby stressed that China has no grounds to use Pelosi’s visit as “pretext” for conflict or increased military activity near Taiwan, such as the live-fire military exercises China conducted near Taiwan over the weekend.

China has suggested that it could carry out some type of military action if Pelosi visits Taiwan — a potential trip that has yet to be confirmed by Pelosi herself or the White House but has triggered significant speculation. Earlier on Monday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said China “firmly opposes” the visit and doubled down on its warnings, saying that the Chinese military will not “sit idly by.”

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