U.S. has changed posture on Taiwan, says Tiananmen activist

STORY: Wu'er Kaixi, who was a student leader during China's 1989 democracy protests on Tiananmen square, now lives permanently in Taiwan, where he has participated in local politics and frequently writes in the city's press.

"A whole lot has changed" after the visit, Wu'er said. "Nancy Pelosi, the leader of the ruling party of the United States, a close ally of President Joe Biden, came to Taiwan in such a high profile.... And that is a major change of course."

Wu'er was speaking on the same day as China deployed scores of planes and fired live missiles near Taiwan on in its biggest-ever drills in the Taiwan Strait.

Wu'er said Western countries including the United States had been complicit with helping China isolate the self-ruled island through adhering to the "one-China principle", which prevents foreign countries from maintaining diplomatic relations with both mainland China and Taiwan.

China claims self-ruled Taiwan as its own, and a foreign ministry spokesman said earlier this week that any visit by Pelosi would be "a gross interference in China's internal affairs" and warned that "the Chinese People's Liberation Army will never sit idly by.”

Wu'er argued the ongoing Chinese military drills in the waters near Taiwan were a continuation in line with long-standing Chinese military precedent, and rejected the notion that Pelosi's visit would heighten the risk of war. "There is no imminent military threat other than the one thousand missiles that (have) been pointed at Taiwan for about the last three decades", Wu'er said.

Pelosi is on a tour of Asia that includes announced visits to Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, and Japan. Her stop in Taiwan had not been announced but had been widely anticipated.